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Penni Robertson, ‘A Shining Light for Children’, Named America’s Favorite Crossing Guard

March 1, 2017
Penni Robertson is America’s Favorite Crossing Guard

As School Zones Become Less Safe for Student Pedestrians, Recognition Highlights Vital Contributions Crossing Guards Make Every Day to Protect Kids

Lake Orion, Mich. – Penni Robertson, a crossing guard known for her positive attitude and unyielding commitment to the kids, was named America’s Favorite Crossing Guard today in a morning assembly in front of students, parents, faculty and elected officials at Carpenter Elementary in Lake Orion, Michigan. Robertson, the inaugural recipient of the honor, awarded by Safe Kids Worldwide, was selected among nominations from across the country for going above and beyond in her contributions to protecting children on their way to and from school.

“Penni is a shining light for the children at Carpenter,” said Adam Welton, Principal of Carpenter Elementary School. “She braves rain, snow, wind and any element. She uses her own limited resources to help feed and clothe children in our building. She even drives one of our students to school every day because he doesn't have a ride. And there’s so much more that makes her worthy of America’s Favorite Crossing Guard.”

Safety in school zones is more important than ever. A research report released in October by Safe Kids Worldwide, made possible with support from FedEx, revealed that school zones can be unsafe places for students. The research, “Alarming Dangers in School Zones,” is an observational study that included 39,000 walkers and 56,000 drivers in school zones and recorded risky behaviors, including distracted walking by students, distracted driving by those dropping off, unsafe speed limits, unmarked crosswalks and limited crossing guards.

The research revealed that about 80 percent of students were observed crossing the street in an unsafe manner. And nearly one in three drivers displayed unsafe behaviors that endangered student pedestrians, like texting, double parking or blocking a crosswalk.

Download the report and infographic.

Safe Kids and FedEx launched the America’s Favorite Crossing Guard campaign to raise awareness about the tremendous contribution that crossing guards make to protect kids in school zones.

“With teen pedestrian deaths on the rise and kids and drivers more distracted than ever, crossing guards are our unsung champions,” said Kristin Rosenthal, Program Manager for U.S. Pedestrian and Bike Safety at Safe Kids Worldwide. “They are out there rain or shine, even in the coldest of winter mornings, to ensure a safe journey for our kids around schools. Penni is one of many wonderful crossing guards around the country who deserve our gratitude.”

“At FedEx, we are committed to protecting kids on the road,” said Rose Flenorl, manager, FedEx Global Citizenship. “America’s Favorite Crossing Guard is a unique opportunity for Safe Kids Worldwide and FedEx to join together to raise awareness about the important work crossing guards do every day across the United States and to encourage students, parents and communities to show appreciation to these unsung civic heroes.”

Robertson, who joined Carpenter Elementary in 2012, has worked as a staff associate and crossing guard since 2013.

“This is a great honor and something I never expected,” said Robertson, who has two children, Gaven, 15, and Gage, 13. “I feel very lucky to have the chance to make an impact in the lives of the kids at our school. I just love the daily interactions I get to have with not only the kids, but the school community as well.”

America’s Favorite Crossing Guard program will continue in 2017. For more information about the initiative and how to nominate a crossing guard in your community visit safekids.org.

About Safe Kids  

Safe Kids Worldwide is a nonprofit organization working to prevent childhood injury, the number one cause of death for children in the United States. Throughout the world, almost one million children die of an injury each year, and almost every one of these tragedies is preventable. Safe Kids works with an extensive network of more than 400 coalitions in the U.S. and with partners in more than 30 countries to reduce traffic injuries, drownings, falls, burns, poisonings and more. Since 1988, Safe Kids has helped reduce the U.S. childhood death rate from unintentional injury by 60 percent. Working together, we can do much more for kids everywhere. Join our effort at safekids.org.

About FedEx Corp.

FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $58 billion, the company offers integrated business applications through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world's most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 400,000 team members to remain "absolutely, positively" focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. To learn more about how FedEx connects people and possibilities around the world, please visit about.fedex.com.