Hamilton, NJ, June 21, 2021 - AAA proudly announces this year’s Outstanding School Safety Patroller for New Jersey. Sophie Seabridge, a fourth grader at Middle Road School in Hazlet, has been selected for the honor. Like thousands of her peers across the county, Sophia has remained committed to keeping her fellow students safe and being a positive leader in her school despite the challenges posed by remote/hybrid learning during the pandemic.
That commitment shown by Sophia and the Middle Road School community is part of the legacy of the AAA School Safety program which is now in its 100thyear.
On her nomination form, Sophia’s advisor, Mrs. Megann Waugh, wrote that “Sophia is a born leader, confident, welcoming and a problem solver. Without prompting, she initiated new processes and guided a substitute teacher through the morning routine and dismissal protocol during a period when she was teaching virtually from home.”
It’s the exemplary leadership of students like Sophia and countless others that have made the AAA School Safety Patrol program so impactful for decades. Created to make schoolchildren safer while walking to school, the program has grown-up and matured with the times while remaining steadfast to its mission to provide a safer environment and leadership opportunities for millions of schoolchildren. The training that patrollers receive instills safety sense beyond street crossings, including bus and car drop-offs, monitoring hallway congestion, and teaching patrollers invaluable leadership skills.
“This school year continued to be a challenge for School Safety Patrols; advisors and patrollers have risen to the challenge of keeping students safe,” said AAA Public Affairs Manager, Tracy Noble. “Their actions save lives. Patrollers serve as role models across the county.”
Some schools were virtual, some met in person and others operated in a hybrid setting. Whatever the setting, those schools that kept students engaged and maintained their School Safety Patrol group proved endurance and dedication are lessons instilled in students this year. The leadership values and safety awareness have inspired many alumnus patrollers to pursue admirable careers, including current President Joe Biden.
Other notable patrollers include former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, astronauts, governors, Members of Congress, Supreme Court justices, Olympic medalists, and authors, like Diary of a Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney. Many patrollers now serve as educators, executives, and community leaders.
Over the last 100 years, interest in and excitement for the program have spread around the world. The AAA model has been adopted in at least 30 other countries, including England, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and New Zealand.
Since 1920, AAA provides various equipment and education materials to patrollers, including reflective belts, patrol badges and training resources. To learn how to bring the AAA School Safety Patrol to your school, email SchoolSafetyPatrol@national.aaa.com.