As school zones remain unsafe for students, “America’s Favorite Crossing Guard” contest spotlights the valuable contribution of crossing guards to pedestrian safety
Washington, DC – For the third year in a row, Safe Kids Worldwide, with support from FedEx, will launch a nationwide search to find America’s Favorite Crossing Guard. This October 10 announcement coincides with International Walk to School Day, a day where millions of children worldwide participate in events that raise awareness about safe walking and healthy behavior. The contest will build on the momentum of International Walk to School Day and celebrate the role of crossing guards in the important effort to keep children safe in and around school zones.
The winner of this year’s “America’s Favorite Crossing Guard” contest will receive an individual prize worth up to $500, and the school he or she represents will receive $10,000. Safe Kids will also host a pep rally at the school to honor the winner. The second-place winner’s school will receive $7,500, and the third-place winner’s school will receive $5,000.
“Crossing guards are the tireless heroes of student pedestrian safety and deserve our thanks and recognition,” says Torine Creppy, president of Safe Kids Worldwide. “They are out rain or shine, even during the cold winter mornings, to protect our kids from distracted drivers and the other risky behaviors that make school zones unsafe for our children.”
Crossing guards provide an essential service to kids as pedestrian safety issues remain a major concern with more than 40 children being struck by vehicles every day. Previous findings from the Safe Kids Worldwide research report, “Alarming Dangers in School Zones”, demonstrate the extent to which the problem has worsened. The report, made possible with support from FedEx, was based on an observational study of the behaviors of 39,000 middle and high school students, as well as 56,000 drivers during drop off and pick up. Alarmingly, 80 percent of the students observed did not cross the street safely, and more than 1 in 10 drivers were distracted by mobile devices.
Safe Kids Worldwide and FedEx have worked together for nearly 20 years to educate parents, caregivers and children about pedestrian safety. In 2000, Safe Kids Worldwide and program sponsor FedEx created the Walk This Way Program in the United States to teach safe behaviors to motorists and child pedestrians and to create safer, more walkable communities. Safe Kids and FedEx address the issue through research, physical improvements to school zones, and education and awareness campaigns throughout the year, such as International Walk to School Day.
“Pedestrian safety has always been a top priority at FedEx,” says Matthew Thornton III, executive vice president and chief operating officer, FedEx Freight. “Our commitment to keeping kids safe on the road is the reason why we support Safe Kids Worldwide for this unique opportunity. We encourage everyone to recognize the many thousands of dedicated crossing guards who work every day to ensure our kids have safe journeys to and from their schools.”
Parents, caregivers and the general public can nominate their crossing guard to be America’s Favorite Crossing Guard through an online form on the Safe Kids website. Entries will be accepted through November 14. On November 19, Safe Kids will post the names of the nominees on its website; online voting will begin on that day and last through November 30. When the voting period is over, the profiles of the top five nominees will be sent to a panel of judges who will select one winner. For more information about the initiative and how to nominate a crossing guard in your community, visit safekids.org.
About Safe Kids Worldwide
Safe Kids Worldwide is a global nonprofit dedicated to protecting kids from preventable injuries, the number one cause of death to children in the United States. Around the world, a child dies every 30 seconds from an injury that could have been prevented. Safe Kids is a go-to resource to help parents keep kids safe from car crashes, fires, falls, poisoning and more. Through more than 400 coalitions in the U.S. and partners in more than 30 countries, Safe Kids works with children’s hospitals, trauma centers, first responders and public health experts to get life-saving information to families. Together, we can help all kids grow up healthy and safe. 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 $67 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 425,000 team members to remain 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.