Chabot Safety Patrol Makes for Safe School Crossings

Monday, March 9, 2015

We all know that school can be difficult to get to in the morning: not only getting ourselves out of bed, then our children, getting dressed, eating breakfast, but all the countless other things that have to get done before leaving the house on time. Then, walking to school, you have to watch carefully for traffic, especially at busy corner intersections.

Well, for the students at Anthony Chabot Elementary School, there is one less stressful thing that helps them on their way to school: the Anthony Chabot Elementary SchoolÕs award-winning safety patrol. A group of about 25 fourth and fifth graders, along with a parent or teacher, controls traffic at the busy intersection of Patton and Chabot Road every morning from 8:10 a.m. until school begins at 8:30 a.m., for safer passage onto the school grounds.

We are fortunate to live in a community where many of our families live close enough to school to walk there. We are also a school that is located close to several freeway entrances and the Rockridge BART station, which means we have lots of vehicle traffic each morning. The safety patrol is an amazing production to watch, as over 200 people cross our crosswalk every morning.

I am fortunate to be the teacher in charge of this amazing group of student leaders, and have been thoroughly impressed each year at the dedication and hard work these leaders demonstrate each day. Not only do most of them arrive 30 minutes before school starts two to five days a week, they also participate in monthly meetings during their recess time. For each of these meetings, the captains, sergeants, lieutenants, and other leaders are required to write up and give a report. This is in front of their peers, the parent liaison, myself, and an officer from the Oakland Police Department; no small feat for nine- and ten-year-olds.

Safety Patrols are guided by the Oakland Police Department and AAA. They work with over 500 students at 25 elementary schools in Oakland. Every spring there is an annual review, with a trophy awarded to the top schoolÕs Safety Patrol. The competition is fierce.

While researching safety patrols for this article, I learned that many of our societyÕs leaders participated in safety patrols at their schools. These include former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton; Nobel Prize winner Dr. Gary S. Becker; U.S. Senator John Warner; baseball broadcasting Hall of Famer Joe Garagiola; and many more, including 21 astronauts.

As a teacher, I feel participating in safety patrol is important for students. They learn to become leaders and role models in their community, and they learn dedication and hard work.

If you have never seen a safety patrol in action, come watch on the corner of Patton and Chabot Road any weekday morning at about 8:20 a.m. I know you will be impressed, as I am every time.

by Miranda Carrow, fourth grade teacher, Chabot School