County schools held ceremonies last week to induct students as safety patrollers.
Launched last year, the safety patrol program has been implemented in every school in Coffee County.
North Coffee Elementary School held a ceremony on Sept. 9 to welcome the new patrollers. The students took a vow to keep their classmates safe.
“This is the second year Coffee County schools have done their safety patrol programs,” said Megan Cooper, public affairs specialist for AAA Tennessee. “Today (Sept. 9) students at North Coffee got in front of their schoolmates and were officially inducted as safety patrollers. That is a special occasion for them…this is a big deal and a big responsibility. This is starting what I hope will be a great year for them.”
The safety patrol program began in 1920, said Cooper.
“It is around the world,” Cooper said. “It is the largest safety program in the world. The safety patrollers help their fellow students get to school safely. They are that safety role model for others. They are welcoming students to school and they make sure the environment is safe as students are getting on and off the school bus in the morning and in the afternoon.”
Additionally, patrollers act as safety advocates for the community, added Cooper.
“Students are getting really great skills at a young age that will help them as they get older,” Cooper said. “They are learning responsibility, time management, how to work with others and how to resolve problems. What is really great about this program is that it introduces all of these life skills to them at a young age.”
All Coffee County schools have implemented the program.
“I have been with AAA for three years and this is one of the standout counties for sure,” Cooper said. “This is the first time I have seen a county take a hold of the program and put it in every school in the county. It is great to see people so passionate about the program.”
Sponsored by AAA, last year the schools began the safety patrol at no cost.
AAA provided all of the necessary equipment, including the neon yellow sashes, ponchos and hats for the students to ensure they are visible in all weather conditions and times of day. Every student goes through online training and is trained on the job by the program’s overseer.
According to AAA, children between the ages of 5 and 14 are at the highest risk for pedestrian injury, which is why AAA began the safety patrol program in 1920.