The Fairview Park Safe Routes to School Committee is pleased to announce that the School Safety Patrol program has returned to Gilles-Sweet Elementary School. On February 27, 2015, 13 fourth and fifth graders were sworn in by Police Chief Erich Upperman as the inaugural class of Gilles-Sweet School’s new safety patrol. A safety patrol operated for many years at the original Gilles-Sweet School.

School Safety Patrol programs play an important role in helping young pedestrians learn and fulfill responsibilities regarding traffic safety. Millions of U.S. boys and girls have honorably served their classmates since the AAA School Safety Patrol program began in the early 1920s, and interest in the program has spread around the world. At least 30 other countries have emulated the program.

The creation of a School Safety Patrol was identified as a priority item in the Fairview Park School Travel Plan, a planning document that outlines the Safe Routes to School Committee’s strategy for enabling and encouraging students to walk and bike to school safely. Supplies and equipment for the program were purchased using Safe Routes to School grant funds awarded to the City of Fairview Park in 2014 by the Ohio Department of Transportation.

Special thanks to Mr. Steve Ruic, teacher at Gilles-Sweet School, for serving as program adviser, and to Mrs. Lori Cook of AAA East Central for providing our students with safety patrol training.

The members of the Gilles-Sweet School Safety Patrol will report for their first day of duty on Monday, March 2, 2015.