AAA is proud to announce that a Chesterfield County student has been named an Outstanding School Safety Patroller for the 2022-2023 school year. Faith Culyer, a fifth grader at Swift Creek Elementary School, was surprised with the award last week at an end-of-year awards assembly.
On the nomination form, Faith was praised for her “take charge and respectful leadership style.” Her patrol advisor said she was able to quickly view a situation and see what help was needed without being asked. The fifth grader’s positive outlook and can-do attitude had her fellow patrollers looking up to her to see how she navigated the hallways to make the school safer.
“Faith is reliable, responsible, and caring for all Gators,” says Dr. Laura Marshall, principal of Swift Creek Elementary School. “Whatever Faith puts her mind to and whatever teams or groups Faith becomes a part of, the characteristics she brings create a stronger team.”
In true patroller spirit, Faith leaves behind a legacy for the next generation. She created a script to help teach younger students about the job of the AAA School Safety Patrol that will hopefully inspire some of them to step up and serve in the future.
As an added bonus, Faith was invited by the Richmond Flying Squirrels to throw out a first pitch in front of a sold-out crowd. Some of her classmates were in the stands to celebrate Reading Night at the Diamond along with students from schools all across the Richmond region.
Program Teaches Traffic Safety and Inspires Young Leaders More Than a Century After Its Launch
For more than 100 years, the AAA School Safety Patrol has been the world’s largest school-based safety program. Patrollers around the world provide school-aged children an extra sense of safety and security during the school day’s busiest times: arrival and dismissal. As a peer-to-peer leadership development program, Safety Patrols are trained to recognize safety hazards to create a safer school environment. The presence of a AAA School Safety Patroller wearing the familiar belt & badge is a nationally recognized symbol representing more than 679,000 children throughout the country who participate in the program each year.
“We are so happy to support these programs at schools across Virginia,” says AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesperson Morgan Dean. “We give these young people the training to help make their school safer. We enjoy watching them step up and lead and we’re always so impressed to see how innovative they can be when it comes to implementing changes and improvements at their schools.”
The leadership values and safety awareness have inspired many former patrollers to pursue admirable careers, including Presidents of the United States, 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. Since 1920, AAA has been providing various equipment and education materials to patrollers, including reflective belts, patrol badges and training resources.
The AAA model has been adopted in at least thirty other countries, including England, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and New Zealand.