Kids at Loving and Learning in North Charleston discovered Wednesday that education is more than learning the alphabet, identifying colors and naming the food groups.

Add getting to know 9-1-1 to the list.

Amid squeals of laughter, about a dozen children, ages 3 or 4, lined up to test out their dial pad skills on a big red phone. With help, they pushed the three numbers that plug them into the adult network of first responders. A recorded voice asked what was their emergency.

Then came high-fives for a job well done.

"They'll go home and tell their parents about it," said teacher Amber Culley.

The phone lesson happened after a playful time with police, fire and paramedic hand puppets.

"Are you afraid of them? No, because they are your friends," said Lisa Nickel, a 9-1-1 educator for Charleston County.

Emergency calls from children are not rare, said Jim Lake, Director of the Charleston County Consolidated 9-1-1 Center.

"They are not common but we do receive a fair amount of calls from children and young people," he said.

Figures on 9-1-1 calls placed by children were not available. "Unfortunately, I do not have numbers as we do not track this data," Lake said in an email.

In response to questions about children dialing 9-1-1, the county on Wednesday released a recording of a young person on James Island calling for help.

"We have a neighbor who fell and she needs EMS. We heard her screaming and we ran down there and she needs help," a girl said.

A dispatcher gave instructions on how to control bleeding until paramedics were on scene. "The fire truck is just now coming," the girl said.

Charleston County is observing National 9-1-1 Education Month with events such as the one Wednesday. The campaign aims to help citizens better understand the emergency communication system.

Reach Prentiss Findlay at 937-5711.