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Grade 4 and 5 students at Cambridge Elementary are part of the Drop-Off Buddy program at the school, and help guide younger students safely from their car into the school.
For students and parents at many schools, drop-off can be a chaotic time. At Cambridge Elementary, traffic flow woes are eased by Grade 4 and 5 students stationed outside the Surrey school in hard hats and safety vests.
From 8:15-8:30 a.m. Monday to Friday, the volunteers are on duty. When a car pulls up into the drop-off zone, a drop-off buddy will help guide younger primary students safely into the school from the car.
The Drop-Off Buddy Program, explains vice-principal and teacher Lianne McBride, was started a few years ago by previous administrators. She says when she began at Cambridge two years ago, it was important to her and principal Shaun Nelson to keep the program going.
"Our reason behind it is that it's a great connection to the community, it's a really good chance for student leadership, and also for safety," McBride says. "We really want to encourage drop-off and we want to encourage families to walk, to have a greener way of getting to school – and this blends all of those things together."
McBride says that, so far, parents have found the program to be a great help, especially when parking and time are limited in the morning.
The current volunteers are from the Grade 4/5 class McBride teaches. Last year the buddies were Grade 6s, and McBride says she looks forward to seeing the program grow and continuing to help families.
~story and photos by Laura Johnston