World’s Largest School-Based Safety Program is 100 years old
For 100 years, AAA School Safety Patrollers around the world have provided school-aged children an extra sense of safety and security when going to and from school. Today, current Safety Patrollers gathered at Groveland Elementary School in Doylestown, Pa. and schools across the country to mark the centennial of this leadership-building and life-saving program.
Current AAA School Safety Patrollers at Groveland Elementary School were joined by Philadelphia Eagles mascot, Swoop, Wednesday morning to raise a special School Safety Patrol flag to mark the 100th anniversary of the program.
The 2021–22 school year boasts 679,000 Patrollers in 35,000 schools in the United States. The legacy doesn’t stop here, however. 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.
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. Started as a boys-only initiative when horses and buggies were still a transportation mode, the program evolved to include girls.
The training that Patrollers receive instills a sense of safety sense beyond street crossings, including bus and car drop-offs, monitoring hallway congestion, and teaching Patrollers invaluable leadership skills.
The program and its more than 440 Lifesaving Award recipients have contributed to the steady decline of U.S. student pedestrian (ages 5–14) deaths—a 24% decrease since 2010.
“The significance of the AAA School Safety Patrol cannot be overstated,” said Jana Tidwell, Public and Government Affairs Manager for AAA mid-Atlantic in Delaware. “From saving hundreds of lives to instilling leadership skills in thousands of students who have gone on to serve as community leaders, astronauts, Supreme Court Justices, and even U.S. Presidents.”
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.
AAA provides automotive, travel, and insurance services to more than 63,000,000 members nationwide and more than 150,000 members in Delaware. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. AAA is a non-stock, membership corporation working on behalf of motorists, who can map a route, access a COVID travel restriction map, find local gas prices and electric vehicle charging stations, discover discounts, book a hotel, and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app (AAA.com/mobile) for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information on joining or renewing a Membership, visit www.AAA.com..