This past month I got to watch Grant K-8 students who are participating in a very important school safety program. They are helping to keep students and parents safe from vehicular accidents. Alicia Burnes, a mother of one of the students at Grant K-8, shared with me the importance of the program and gratitude for the students who participate in the program. She said that a total of 30 students now volunteer for the cone zone guard position. Each school day, six students arrive early and stay late to assist with this program.
She said that developing the program took upward of a year to accomplish. She worked with the principal at Grant, as well as with the San Diego Unified School District Transportation Department, City engineer’s office, the officer assigned to the school and other parents and teachers to implement the program, which began the first day of school this year.
She informed me that the students (middle school: 6-8) were selected due to citizenship and academics. This volunteer effort counts toward their community service for the National Junior Honor Society, which is especially important today for students planning on entering college.
Burnes said she and the other parent and teacher coordinators sought out students who are team players, have leadership skills and a desire to serve the community. She said they did recruit some of the sixth-grade students who were previously on the safety patrol.
As I observed Burnes supervising the zone guards, it was obvious that adults also perform a very important role in the program. She shared with me that she also sought out other parents who have like interests for the safety of students.
The cone zone guards place the cones on the street to create safety barriers for people dropping off and picking up students. They also assist with getting students safely in and out of their vehicles.