Even at 9 a.m., every kid’s face in the room shined with excitement at Eastman Avenue Elementary School in East Los Angeles.
Sparky the Wonderbug was about to buzz in for a performance of “A Bug’s Light!”, an interactive show designed to teach children how to stay safe around electricity.
The school is one of 40 throughout Central and Southern California that will host the play this year, performed by actors from the National Theatre for Children and sponsored by Southern California Edison.
“Kids are naturally going to play near all types of electricity sources, and we really want to keep them safe,” said Bri Giger, a performer in the show.
In the show, Sparky, a local insect hero, is studying to pass an electrical safety test that will grant access to the “Electrical Safety Bug Brigade.” But there’s a problem — the evil Dragonfly is trying to put an end to electrical safety by luring bugs into the bug zapper.
Sparky needs help. Fortunately, after hearing Sparky talk about how electricity works and the dangers to keep in mind, such as keeping hair dryers away from water, the kids are ready to assist.
Carlos, a student in the audience, is sworn in as an honorary member of the Bug Brigade by taking the electrical safety bug’s oath of loyalty. Next step: save the day by hypnotizing the Dragonfly.
The interactive show is a unique way to teach children important safety messages such as urging students to stay away from downed wires and to call 911.
According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, each day nearly seven children are treated in hospital emergency rooms for electrical shock or burn injuries caused by tampering with a wall outlet. And in 2007, more than 98,000 children ages 14 and under were treated for burn injuries.
After defeating the Dragonfly, students went back to class to discuss the show with their teachers. They also took home activity books and homework assignments to share with their families.
“We’ve had some performances on nutrition and basic safety, but not on electrical safety before today,” said Gabriela Garay-Contreras, a teacher at the school. “The students really enjoy the show and learning about electrical safety.”
For more information about electrical safety, visit on.sce.com/staysafe.