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May 19 is Crossing Guard Appreciation Day

Crossing Guard Photo

Thursday, May 19, 2022 is Crossing Guard Appreciation Day, as declared by Governor Pritzker. The St. Charles Police Department employs 13 crossing guards who manage nine elementary school locations around the city.

“Our guards are out every single day, no matter the weather, to help children safely cross the street to and from school in both the morning and afternoon. We are very proud of the outstanding work they do and the relationships they build every year, not only with the students, but the parents as well,” said Commander Rich Clark, who is in charge of the crossing guard program. “The school crossing guards are trained by the Police Department in every aspect of the job, from proper crossing techniques to active shooter recognition and preparedness. Both the City and school district value the work they do every day, and we know the children and parents do as well.”

Crossing guard locations are strategically located within designated walking patterns for students traveling to and from District 303 schools throughout the city. Several crossing guards have been helping children cross the street to schools in St. Charles for many years. The longest-tenured guard is Gina King, who has been with the City for almost 26 years and currently crosses students at Munhall School. “I feel honored to have seen so many kids grow from being kindergarten students all the way to becoming young adults and members of our community. Sending the children into school with a smile and then seeing them come out at the end of the day smiling, makes me feel good,” said King.

Another familiar face around the City for more than 24 years is Crossing Guard Gloria Helm, who can be seen almost every morning and afternoon at Richmond School. “It’s hard to believe that today, some of the kids I help cross, I actually helped their parents cross to school years ago,” Helm stated, “What I love most about the job is seeing the kids and talking to the parents.”

The Governor’s proclamation states that every year in Illinois more than 360 pedestrians ages eight to 14 are injured in vehicle-related incidents. The City of St. Charles Police Department reminds drivers of these statistics and stressed the importance of watching for children and guards near the schools. Crossing guards overwhelmingly state that the number one safety issue they face is distracted drivers talking on or looking at their cell phones. This illegal act poses significant fines, but more importantly puts both the children and the guards in unnecessary danger.

created May 18, 2022 updated May 24, 2022