Braving cold winters to help their peers, Red Deer’s Alberta Motor Association School Safety Patrollers were honoured for their hard work.
The city’s more than 550 safety patrollers were recognized at an event Thursday with a barbecue at the Kinex Arena and a day of swimming at pools across Red Deer.
Darcy Baron, AMA School Safety Patrol co-ordinator, said it was a big celebration for the kids who worked hard at keeping their classmates safe during the school year.
“It’s the 80th anniversary this year for safety patrollers in Alberta,” said Baron. “We’re really celebrating it big. The City of Red Deer proclaimed May 31 as AMA School Safety Patroller Day.”
Red Deer-South MLA Barb Miller stopped by the event. She was a safety patroller in Grade 5 and 6 and had fond memories.
“I loved it,” said Miller. “It was the most important job at the school. There were a lot of kids who vied for the position, so if you didn’t have the marks to be able to miss some of the classes you didn’t get to be a school patrol.”
She was joined by Alberta Education Minister David Eggen and Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer, who stopped by to congratulate the kids and talk with the Red Deer Protective Services, Emergency Services and volunteers who were serving up the food. Eggen said it was a way to teach students about leadership.
“I’ll stop at the schools deliberately when the patrols are out just so I can watch them in action,” said Miller. “It’s an important job when you see these kids saving adults from walking in front of cars.”
The safety patrol program includes more than 500 schools and 16,500 students and teachers from across the province. They help motorists, pedestrians and cyclists watch out for each other and aim to make school zones safer.
“Safety patrollers provide a very important service at their schools,” said Baron. “They keep their schools safe by helping the younger students cross safely at the crosswalk. They’ve done a fantastic job using point, pause and proceed to get everyone across safely.”
While school is almost out for the summer, AMA would like to remind drivers to slow down to 30 km/h in playground zones around the province.