Tuesday Is Crossing Guard Appreciation Day
May 1st is Crossing Guard Appreciation Day in the State of Illinois.
No. Seriously. No kidding.
Since 2005, Illinois has been recognizing the important work of getting kids to school safely each day by designating the first day of May annually to encourage people to show appreciation for their local crossing guards.
“They put their lives at stake every day for our kids and are some of the bravest, most crucial resources for making walking and biking to school safe,” says Ethan Spotts, a spokesperson for the Active Transportation Alliance, a local group that promotes biking, walking and alternative transportation choices.
Spotts says, by their group’s estimate and data from the Chicago Police Department from two years ago, approximately 1500 crossing guards are deployed citywide. But Spotts believes there should be more.
“We would say that there certainly should be more crossing guards,” says Spotts. “With more than 600 schools in CPS, which doesn’t count parochial or private schools, the 1,500 official crossing guards, even if equally distributed, still calls for a need to increase the number of guards shepherding our children.”
Active Trans takes an active role in this day of appreciation every year and encourages people to nominate their crossing guard to be honored and/or print out a certificate of appreciation at the Active Trans website.
So Spotts says, on Tuesday pickup some flowers, bake some cookies, buy some candy to show your local crossing guard how much you appreciate their hard work–especially when it’s cold, raining or snowing.
Photo copyright and courtesy of TheeErin’s Flickr page.