If you live near any school in Silicon Valley, you dread the 20 minutes just prior to the first class bell. The roads are jammed to a near-standstill with parents driving their children, and as the tardy bell looms near, the driving environment becomes more frantic. Imagine how challenging it is for those kids who walk and bike to school to make their way through all that traffic!

No matter the method of transit – biking, walking, or driving – everyone’s journey to school is made much safer and more enjoyable with the assistance of crossing guards. They are also wonderful public safety teachers for kids (and, frankly, some parents), always reminding everyone to stop, look both ways and listen for traffic before stepping into the crosswalk.

As part of our North Fair Oaks project, SVBC was able to offer basic crossing guard training for volunteers at Hoover Elementary School in Redwood City. On December 11, our Programs staff led a presentation and outdoor training for five parents. Hoover’s current long-serving volunteer, Richard, offered valuable insight about traffic patterns and driver behavior in the neighborhood.

When it came time to have participants practice their crossing guard skills at the main crosswalk, SVBC’s project partner – Redwood City 2020 – provided neon jackets, stop paddles, and whistles for everyone. Each participant ran through various situations, with our Programs staff acting as good children, “challenging” children, and inattentive parents. Everyone quickly discovered that there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to providing safe street passage, and practiced until they felt comfortable with their new skills.

It’s our hope that these parents will lead the Hoover Elementary community in promoting pedestrian awareness and safety!