The nationwide chain, which opened a new store on Tonnelle Avenue in North Bergen earlier this year, instituted a program to teach gradeschool children the proper procedures to prevent harmful accidents from taking place in their homes.
The company has created a moveable house called Lowe's Safety Home that has been displayed at schools across the country. Trained teachers use the house to illustrate how to look out for accidents in the making.
Last Friday, the home came to North Bergen and hundreds of students from Horace Mann School got a chance to take part in the presentation.
Thanks to the efforts of Horace Mann Vice Principal Michael Guasconi, the students were taken on a tour of the house and learned important safety tips along the way.
"We sent about 300 kids, from first through third grade, down to Lowe's to take the tour," Guasconi said. "Usually, Lowe's comes to a school and sets up in a parking lot, but we decided to have the students go down to Lowe's, because it is so close. I thought it was a great idea, because they had instructors take the kids room by room and point out the dangers that could happen."
Thanks to North Bergen Recreation, with John Cellini and Jack Conento taking the lead, the children were transported to and from the store for the presentation.
North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco, Commissioner Hugo Cabrera and Horace Mann Principal Jorge Prado also took the tour.
"They taught them how to deal with a possible fire, in terms of getting out of the house and getting help," Guasconi said. "They also taught them about hazards when cooking, hazards involving poisons, accidents that could take place in the backyard in horseplay. They provided a hands-on learning experience for all the students. It was education done in an entertaining way, which isn't easy."
Prado also hailed the Lowe's program. "We never realize how many little kids die from accidents in the home," he said. "It's much higher than what people believe. The children learn about home safety and then in turn, they take it home with them and teach their parents and teach their little brothers and sisters."
The children who participated in the program certainly got a lot of out it - it was more than just a chance to see Scooby Doo, who was one of the characters featured in the tour.
"I learned that I always have to keep cabinets closed," said 9-year-old Samantha Sexton. "I also learned that pot handles should be kept pointed toward the inside, just so no one can grab the handle and knock over the pot as they go by. I think it was a fun way to learn, and I'm definitely going to take them home and tell my family about them."
Karina Cabrera, also 9, learned that drying her hair could lead to a household hazard. "You're not supposed to leave the hair dryer plugged in after using it," Cabrera said. "I've done that, so I learned about that. I also learned that when you're turning on a faucet, you should start with cold water first, then hot. I also learned that I shouldn't leave my toys out, because someone could fall."
Prado said the day brought many positive responses from everyone involved. "I got a lot of positive feedback from the teachers, who thought it was a wonderful thing," Prado said. "Some of the teachers said that they learned things they didn't know. The kids learned a lot and they definitely enjoyed themselves."