Safe Routes to School
Crossing Guard Appreciation Day
Crossing Guard Appreciation Day (CGAD) is a statewide event devoted to saying thank you to those who help students cross the street safely on their way to and from school.
When is Crossing Guard Appreciation Day?
While the Virginia SRTS Program has designated the second Wednesday of February as Crossing Guard Appreciation Day, we encourage schools and communities to plan their own Crossing Guard Appreciation Day on any day that works for them to recognize the valuable role crossing guards play in making safe routes to school a reality.
Do you like to plan ahead? Put these dates on your calendar now for the coming years:
- Crossing Guard Appreciation Day 2018 - February 14
- Crossing Guard Appreciation Day 2019 - February 13
- Crossing Guard Appreciation Day 2020 - February 12
How can my school participate in Crossing Guard Appreciation Day?
Whether simple or elaborate, Crossing Guard Appreciation Day events are a great way to acknowledge the value your crossing guard brings to safe travel to school. Your school may choose to say thank you in person, promote the work of your crossing guard in local media, and nominate your crossing guard for Virginia’s Most Outstanding Crossing Guard Award. More event ideas are available in the Crossing Guard Appreciation Day Learn It. Do It. Live It. which is available for download along with thank you cards, flyers and stickers at the bottom of this page.
>>Nominate your crossing guard here.
All schools that nominate their crossing guard for the Virginia’s Most Outstanding Crossing Guard will receive a Crossing Guard Appreciation Day decal that can be added to Virginia Safe Routes to School Banner. For more information about banners and decals, please see the Student Travel Tally webpage.
Learn it. Do it. Live it!
Thank You Cards
Flier and Poster
Almaz Abebe, Arlington County Public Schools
Almaz Abebe exhibits strength, awareness, and professionalism every day as a crossing guard at Kenmore Middle School. She always treats children with care and respect that is reflected in the respect children show her as they wait patiently to be crossed and do not flout the rules.
One day in early September, Almaz saved an overeager 6th grader from being run over. According to the student's parent, "All of the traffic lights surrounding Kenmore were blinking yellow. The police department stationed a cruiser to stop traffic so that the crossing guard would be able to cross the children safely. My child, oblivious to her surroundings, stepped off the curb into oncoming traffic. Ms. Abebe physically lifted her out of the street and back onto the sidewalk. I saw the entire incident from two blocks away, and all I could think until Ms. Abebe got her back onto the sidewalk was 'My child almost died on her first day walking to middle school.' I am incredibly thankful."
Dave Becker, Loudoun County Public Schools
The nominations for Dave Becker make it clear he is a pillar in his community. As a crossing guard, he exceeds expectations in kindness, safety, and consistency, and people remark that he makes kids feel cared for as they start and end their day. While remaining attentive to students, he also waves to commuters and parents driving past. Dave is present during the heat, cold, rain, and snow, and always has a smile on his face while maintaining a safe environment for the children.
Parents at Emerick Elementary and Blue Ridge Middle School appreciate his "kind-hearted approach and message. They are grateful to him for the value he places in his work." David is a retired firefighter, and continually seeks other opportunities to be involved, making announcements over the school loudspeakers and attending school events and musical productions.
Beeda Lee-Pawlak, Fairfax County Public Schools
Beeda Lee-Pawlak is a first year crossing guard duty, but those who nominated her have "never been more impressed with a crossing guard." Beeda expertly manages the busy intersection of Westmorland Street and Haycock Road, and her friendly and firm demeanor effectively conveys to cars and buses how to operate, with minimal back up. Bus drivers understand exactly when to stop and turn without hesitation or confusion.
Beeda's hard work, diligence, kindness, and control allow students to arrive at school smiling and ready to learn. Parents emphasize that despite the busy traffic their children must cross, they feel confident knowing that Beeda is there to assist them. "Her whistle, uniform, and hand motions are always crisp and perfect. I have never seen a crossing guard who does her job so well! It prompted me to call the school just to find out who she is so I could nominate her!"
Doris McKellick, Chesapeake Public Schools
Doris McKellick has served as a crossing guard in Chesapeake for over 30 years, taking the utmost care in her job every day, rain or shine. With a smile on her face, she commands the attention of drivers while ensuring students cross safely. Each day she coordinates with the School Safety Officer to ensure that arrival and dismissal for walkers, bikers, and buses happens in a safe and efficient manner. After leaving Thurgood Marshall Elementary, she reports to another school in the district for a second crossing guard shift.
Doris' dedication is evident to all who know her. As one parent remarked, "I remember seeing Mrs. Doris when my son was still in primary school - she is well past retirement age and is still working! She is so dedicated and sweet."
Bruce and Kathleen Morrison, Chesterfield County Public Schools
Bruce and Kathleen Morrison are a unique couple in Chesterfield County, and in addition to being wonderful crossing guards, they are key assets to the community. They know all walkers and their parents by name and often take the time to help students coordinate with their parents if there is an issue. Bruce and Kathleen never miss a day, and if they are out sick, the community actively reaches out to know what is happening and if any assistance is needed.
As "true examples of community policing," Bruce and Kathleen demonstrate continual awareness and sensitivity. They have reported vandalism, suspicious cars, damaged signs, and speeding cars, and often pick up trash and tree branches. To make crossing safer, they even take initiative to put out extra cones and equipment. Outside of their crossing guard duties, Bruce and Kathleen frequently check on elderly neighbors in case assistance is needed and help find lost pets.
Anne Rodriguez, Fairfax County Public Schools
Anne Rodriguez, who has been a crossing guard for the past five years, is a special part of the community. While helping all students cross safely, she also is attentive to carpoolers and makes potentially negative and chaotic situations easy.
Every walker and bike rider is greeted with a smile, and she often gives kids high fives. She knows students' names, as well as the names of their siblings and parents. Students adore her, and she has the ability to make tired, grumpy kids happy again. One "would be hard-pressed to find someone who loves their job more than Ms. Anne. She high-fives or stoops to hug little ones, acknowledging every single person--and sometimes dances a bit when on the job. She has a warm smile she uses often, and she makes the start of the day pleasant in every way."