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Battlefield Elementary joins national celebration of AAA School Safety Patrol

From Triple A Mid-Atlantic:

For 100 years, AAA School Safety Patrollers around the world have provided school-aged children an extra sense of safety and security when going to and from school.   Safety Patrollers gathered at Spotsylvania County’s Battlefield Elementary School this past week and schools across the country to mark the centennial of this leadership-building and life-saving program.

Virginia is home to more than 15,000 Safety Patrollers in 601 schools across AAA Mid-Atlantic territory.

AAA School Safety Patrollers at Battlefield Elementary School displayed a special School Safety Patrol flag to mark the 100th anniversary of the program this morning.

“The patrollers make a difference every day here at Battlefield Elementary School” says Patrol Advisor Kathleen Williams. “They take their jobs very seriously, knowing that their friends, schoolmates and staff are relying on them. They were very excited to help AAA celebrate the 100th anniversary of the School Safety Patrol.”

Battlefield Elementary School had an Outstanding School Safety Patrol Award Winner during the last school year. Chloe Cleveland was honored for her hard work, for being an inspiration to other patrollers and for not missing a beat even when the school was switching from in-person to virtual and from virtual back to in-person. She was honored at a surprise ceremony in May.

The 2021–22 school year boasts 679,000 Patrollers in 35,000 schools across the United States. The legacy doesn’t stop here, however. Over the last 100 years, interest in and excitement for the program have spread around the world. The AAA model has been adopted in at least 30 other countries, including England, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and New Zealand.

Created to make schoolchildren safer while walking to school, the program has grown-up and matured with the times while remaining steadfast to its mission to provide a safer environment and leadership opportunities for millions of schoolchildren. Started as a boys-only initiative when horses and buggies were still a transportation mode, the program evolved to include girls.

The training that Patrollers receive instills a sense of safety beyond street crossings, including bus and car drop-offs, monitoring hallway congestion, and teaching Patrollers invaluable leadership skills.

The program and its more than 440 Lifesaving Award recipients have contributed to the steady decline of U.S. student pedestrian (ages 5–14) deaths—a 24% decrease since 2010.

“The significance of the AAA School Safety Patrol cannot be overstated,” said Morgan Dean, spokesperson for AAA mid-Atlantic in Virginia. “From saving hundreds of lives to instilling leadership skills in thousands of students who have gone on to serve as community leaders, astronauts, Supreme Court Justices, and even U.S. Presidents.”

Since 1920, AAA provides various equipment and education materials to Patrollers, including reflective belts, patrol badges and training resources. To learn how to bring the AAA School Safety Patrol to your school, email [email protected].

(Photo courtesy Kathleen Williams)

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