NEW BRITAIN -- Fifth grade Students at Smith Elementary School in New Britain have new responsibilities this year. It starts with a ceremony, where select students are named the schools Safety Patrols.
As Triple A’s new Safety Patrols, they’re tasked with making sure kids get to school safely.
"Whatever it is that they can do to make the school experience and the traffic experience as positive as possible," says AAA spokesperson, Amy Parmenter.
The program has been run for almost 100 years, with New Britain having the most safety patrols programs currently running. Mayor Erin Stewart was once a safety patrol.
"They come in and they help all over the building," says Principal Karen Falvey. "They help with kindergarten students. They help in hallways. They help in the cafeteria. And it just promotes responsibility, kindness, thoughtfulness, gratitude; so it’s just a great way to start the school year."
On the first day, students are greeted by New Britain and State police officers, who help hand out badges, and raise the school safety flag. And after students get their new badge, they walk back into Smith Elementary School with a new role, and new responsibility.
"Being a safety patrol means helping out and being kind to other students," says 5th grader, Jayda Briem.
"It’s about like helping little kids and helping teachers because teachers have a lot of responsibility," says Cristofer Carrion.
"Probably with like math, reading, or if they’re having trouble, just to help them out with that," says another Safety Patroller, Talia Rodriguez.
With most schools in Connecticut back in session, Police Departments are reminding drivers and walkers to look both ways and be conscious of each other during drop-off and pick-up.