Student safety patrols were out Tuesday morning for their first shift of the school year, helping make the morning commute to class safe for their classmates and community.
Allison Purcell, AMA Safety Patrol School Coordinator, says several schools between the Lethbridge Public School Division and the Holy Spirit Catholic School Division use the safety patrol program, which has been around for over 85 years. Purcell says in recent years, the number of students who have signed up for the program is compared to pre-pandemic numbers.
“We certainly are at pre-pandemic numbers and are increasing from there. School zone traffic safety is a priority on many of our school’s minds, and school patrols are one way to make school zones safer.”
Purcell says the program is made up mostly of grade five and six students, with some schools opening the program to those in grade four, and those who sign up to be a patroller at their school are giving back to the community by helping others cross the road safely.
“The program has always run with patrollers being students, and we build that leadership amongst our students. Many of them become leaders within their communities,” Purcell says.
Laina is a patroller in grade six at St. Patrick’s Fine Arts School and says she signed up for patrols to help keep others in her school community safe.
“I tell [other students] to go through us rather than around us and to look both ways [when crossing],” Laina says. “Having a team helps a lot because you aren’t alone, and there are more people to help out.”
Along with programs like the school safety patrols, the newly harmonized school and playground zones, where the speed limit is 30 kilometres an hour from 7:30 a.m. until 9 p.m., is another way students and others in the community are being kept safe on their commute to and from class this year.