Battlefield Elementary Joins National AAA School Safety Patrol Celebration

From Triple To Mid-Atlantic:

For 100 years, AAA School Safety Patrollers around the world have provided school-aged children with an added sense of security when they go to and from school. Safety patrollers gathered at Spotsylvania County Battlefield Elementary School last week and schools across the country to mark the centenary of this leadership-building and lifesaving program.

Virginia is home to more than 15,000 security patrollers at 601 schools in AAA Mid-Atlantic.

AAA School Safety Patrollers at Battlefield Elementary School deployed a special School Safety Patrol Flag to mark the program’s 100th anniversary this morning.

“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, classmates and staff rely on them. They were very happy to help AAA celebrate the 100e school safety patrol anniversary.

Battlefield Elementary School won an Outstanding School Safety Patrol Award in the past school year. Chloe Cleveland was honored for her hard work, for being an inspiration to fellow patrollers, and for not missing a beat, even as the school went from in-person to virtual to virtual in-person return. She was honored in a surprise ceremony in May.

The 2021-2022 school year has 679,000 patrollers in 35,000 schools across the United States. The legacy doesn’t end there, however. Over the past 100 years, interest and enthusiasm for the program has 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 when walking to school, the program has grown and matured over time while remaining true to its mission provide a safer environment and leadership opportunities for millions of schoolchildren. Started as a boys-only initiative when horses and strollers were still a mode of transportation, the program has evolved to include girls.

The training patrollers receive instills a sense of security beyond street crossings, including bus and car stops, monitoring lane congestion, and teaching patrollers invaluable leadership skills.

The program and its more than 440 Lifesaving Award recipients have contributed to the steady decline in U.S. student pedestrian deaths (ages 5-14), down 24% since 2010.

“The importance 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 become community leaders, astronauts, Supreme Court justices and even US presidents.”

Since 1920, AAA has provided various equipment and educational materials to patrollers, including reflective belts, patrol badges, and training resources. To find out how to bring the AAA School Safety Patrol to your school, send an email [email protected].

(Photo courtesy of Kathleen Williams)

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