Bailey Elementary School Student crossing guards help classmates
Fifth-grader Andrea Drews, 10, lets a group of students cross Brandonway Drive while working her shift as a crossing guard Monday, Dec. 17, at Bailey Elementary School in Dublin. Buy This Photo
At Bailey Elementary School, 43 fifth-graders help younger students get to school safely.
The school has hosted a student crossing guard program since it opened that gives fifth-graders the chance to man sidewalks and crossings around the school at 4900 Brandonway Drive before and after the school day.
Other, but not all, Dublin schools buildings have similar programs.
The group of students at Bailey is divided into four teams that each get a week of work before and after school before getting some time off.
The students man street crossings around the school in teams of three, said program adviser Sarah Higgins.
"They take this very seriously," she said. "They come in for training at the end of the summer... They treat it like a job really."
In fact, students had to fill out an application and pass the muster to be involved. They're also responsible for finding a substitute if they are unable to make their shift.
"We make sure these are kids we can trust to be there on time or find their own sub," Higgins said. "This teaches them life skills. They have to manage their schedule."
But the job isn't all work for the students.
"I love being with the kids," fifth-grader Andrea Drews said. "I have a younger sister and I'm protective of her. That's kind of what we do."
"I have three younger siblings, so I'm used to helping out," Ashley Crotty said.
Students must arrive early for their crossing guard duties and Luke Schutter said sometimes it's difficult to make it on time, but he enjoys seeing friends walking to school.
Adults work with the fifth-grade crossing guards at the three busiest intersections and students do not enter the street to stop cars.
But at a few crossings, students are on their own.
"I like being at Earlston," Christine Gallo said. "You get to be more independent be-cause there's no guard there."
But students also enjoy working with adult crossing guards. Kelly Bedle, who works one crossing with students, said she watches them grow each year through the program.
"They get to know everybody. At the beginning of the year there are a lot of parents that cross with their kids and don't stop," she said.
"The kids are intimidated by the parents, but they learn parents will stop for them. They make sure moms stop to make sure everybody's safe."
Students are exempted from crossing guard duties if it's below 20 degrees or there is thunder and lightning.
Starting after Thanksgiving break, students are given hot chocolate to help lessen the frigid temperatures.
"The hot chocolate is definitely a bonus," Michael Dennis said. "but helping kids cross the street makes me feel good about myself. I like helping out."
Sometimes the student crossing guards must report other students who are not safe or don't follow Bailey rules.
Higgins said the student crossing guards have found a nice way to make sure others follow the rules without being bossy.
"It's not their job to be a police officer, but to be a helper," she said. "This group does a great job of giving us a heads up (when there's a problem)."