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Crossing Guard Training Workshop: sign up to keep kids safe as they head to school

"I love this job. I think it's one of the best things I ever did."
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Posted at 4:29 AM, Jul 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-29 08:31:51-04

SURPRISE, AZ — Before learning can begin inside Valley classrooms, children must step into the crosswalk. Their safety is a top priority, but they need people who care to take that step with them.

That's why Maricopa County officials are giving Operation Safe Roads the heads-up about their upcoming Crossing Guard Training Workshop that people can sign up for. The event will take place on August 2.

Jane Smith starts her day gathering her tools of the trade.

"I have a vest, stop sign, and a cooling towel," explained Smith.

Then, she gets to the corner near West Point Elementary School in Surprise — just like she has done for the last six years.

"My husband and I were both retired and I really missed being around kids," Smith said.

She chatted with ABC15 ahead of her official first day of school to talk about the job that pays her in a few different ways.

"I get a lot of hugs," said Smith. "I give a lot of hugs."

She wants kids to get to school safely. That is her role as a crossing guard.

"Being a crossing guard is a lot more challenging and there's a lot more to it than a lot of people think," explained Maricopa Association of Governments Transportation Safety Program Manager Margaret Herrera.

That is why MAG officials have put on this Crossing Guard Training Workshop for nearly 20 years here in the Valley.

Traffic Anchor Megan Thompson has seen the workshop first-hand. It spends about three hours going over the most up-to-date training, educators explain the several different types of crosswalks, and there is also a section on Arizona heat.

"We include segments in the training for crossing guards to learn how they can keep themselves safe," Herrera said.

So, even if people are not interested in being a crossing guard or they do not have kids heading off to school, they can still help make roads safer.

ABC15 asked Smith about what she has noticed most over the years from drivers going by.

"We have people turning right," Smith said. "I have cars turning left and they're not really paying attention to the fact that there's kids there."

She is hoping drivers will be patient and alert as school zones return around the Valley.

Smith is dedicated to making her corner a place where the kids she cares for can stay safe.

"I love this job. I think it's one of the best things I ever did," Smith said.

Interested in the upcoming training session? Registration should be completed by the end of the day on Friday, July 29 for the August 2 event.

Click here for more information and to register, click here.