More crossing guards needed as students head back to school

Crossing guards keep school students, children, older adults, and people with disabilities safe. We need more in Maricopa County.
Published: Jul. 26, 2023 at 10:28 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - It’s that time of year again! Kids are headed back to school.

Even in the heat, many are still walking, so it’s essential to keep an eye out for them on your morning commute. Crossing guards play a significant role in keeping kids safe on the way to school. But the Maricopa Association of Governments says there aren’t enough to go around, and the need is great.

Arizona’s Family learned that major crossing areas at traffic lights don’t have enough guards to make a difference, and they are looking for people to step up as kids head back to school.

Three training sessions are left, one today and two next month, all completely free and last for about four hours. The training is recommended but optional.

“From the child’s perspective, it’s the first person they might see in a day. Maybe their parents go to work early, and they walk their younger brother or sister to school. It might be the first adult they see every morning, right?” Margaret Herrera, the safety program director at the Maricopa Association of Governments. “And so the guards typically get a rapport with the children, get a conversation going.”

Hererra says when cars see a crossing guard, they immediately change their driving behaviors which mitigates crashes, especially when children are present. Those interested in the position can apply through the school districts. They are looking for people who want to serve their community and make a difference since it’s not just kids you’d be helping. When crossing guards are on duty, they also help people with disabilities and older adults.

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