This year, you may have noticed the yellow and orange sashes adorning some of our students each morning. The fifth graders wearing them are hand selected for the ever popular “Safety Patrol,” brought back this year by TCS principal, Kristi McInerney.

“The reason why I brought it back was because I wanted the fifth graders to feel like they were leaders in the school. They are not in middle school yet, they are not high school, but they are the upper grade in elementary. I wanted them to feel excited about that role and be able to be a servant leader,” says McInerney.

Six fifth graders (three from each fifth grade class) are hand selected each month for this role. Their job is to help take care of K4 and Kindergarten students each morning and walk them safely from Before Care in building seven to their classrooms.

“I really enjoy taking care of the little kids. I like walking them to the classroom and putting a smile on the teachers’ faces when I say hi to them,” says fifth grader, Haley Gottshall.

In order to take on this task, fifth graders have to first demonstrate they are up for the challenge, by proving they are responsible, respectful and a positive role model.

“These are kids that come to school on time, because they have to be here early enough to serve on the safety patrol. They come earlier to help get the little kids’ backpacks filled with all their stuff, make sure they have their coats and mittens on and help them get zipped up. To show they are responsible, the kids also have to have their school assignments handed in on time,” says Amy Delmanto, TCS 5th Grade Teacher.

For most fifth graders, they consider the appointment an honor.

“I was chosen for this. It makes me feel special. It is a pretty big responsibility and sometimes I think, ‘wow, I do this,’ says fifth grader, Ethan Amaning.

Our big kids have quickly discovered that keeping the little ones in line is no easy task.

“Some of them are climbing under the table, they just don’t want to put their jacket on. Sometimes they just don’t listen. I tell them that Jesus wouldn’t want them to act like that,” says Amaning.

“Some of the kids do not listen right away. They feel like they can just do their own thing. You have to be stern without being mean so that they know you are serious when you’re talking to them,” explains Gottshall.

This experience not only teaches the younger students, but the Safety Patrollers as well. For many of them, it is their first experience in a servant leadership role, something that is greatly encouraged once they get to middle and high school.

“I think it’s important to raise the kids up to be servant leaders in the school and to be an example. This experience is one of their first steps in serving others and the Lord in a simple way at the age they are, which will prepare them for opportunities they will have in MS and HS,” says Delmanto.

Next time you see these shining students be sure to give them a wave, a high five or congratulate them for this honor!