Home > Blog > Pittsburgh Receives Local Grant and Federal Funding to Train Crossing Guards

January 11, 2017

This month, more than one hundred crossing guards and community resource officers throughout Pittsburgh will complete Everyday Mentors training. Everyday Mentors, an initiative of The Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern PA, empowers adults who regularly interact with young people to make an even bigger impact.

#PGHCrossingGuards Training

Mayor William Peduto, Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay and Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Linda Lane thanked participants for their hard work and commitment to their communities this morning at the training session located at the City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Northside headquarters.

The crossing guards are an important part of the police bureau. I look forward to improving their ability to better serve the public as a result of this study. ~Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Chief Cameron McLay

The City of Pittsburgh is committed to strengthening relationships among public safety officials, crossing guards and children and youth. We’re excited about the Everyday Mentors training and the positive impact it will have on our communities and our children. ~Mayor William Peduto

Crossing guards are much more than their name suggests. Yes, they help students get to and from school safely, but they also form close relationships along the way. We believe that by partnering with The Mentoring Partnership and the Fred Rogers Center crossing guards can further enhance the great work they do for children. ~Allies for Children Executive Director Patrick Dowd

Throughout January, which is National Mentoring Month, The Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern PA will conduct five sessions to train City of Pittsburgh crossing guards as Everyday Mentors.

National Mentoring Month is is a very special time to recognize and thank the countless men and women, including crossing guards, who make our children feel like they matter. We believe one of the most powerful things communities can do is wrap their arms around kids. Our schools can’t do it alone, and we appreciate the work of our mentors that reinforces the importance of attendance, hard work and positive behavior. We are very excited to partner with the City and others to improve the lives of students. ~Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Linda Lane

Crossing guards are such positive role models in communities. They already mentor children by listening to their stories, tying their shoes and even lending lunch money. It is a natural fit to provide crossing guards with training through our Everyday Mentors initiative. Everyday Mentors are adults who find themselves supporting and caring for young people in a mentor-like role. This training will provide them with additional information and knowledge to better support their relationships with youth. ~The Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern PA Executive Director Colleen Fedor

The idea to formally train crossing guards as Everyday Mentors arose from a recent study commissioned by Allies for Children. The study focused on three central questions: how are crossing guards hired and deployed; what equipment and supervision does the City provide them; and what professional development, such as mentor training, should the City offer. In addition to mentor training, the City of Pittsburgh plans to implement additional recommendations from the Crossing Guards Study.

#PGHCrossingGuards Press Briefing

The safety of the City’s children is our top priority, and we are committed to equipping crossing guards with the tools they need to keep kids out of harm’s way. The City plans to equip crossing guards with two-way radios, restructure safety training and provide community resource cards that crossing guards can distribute to families. We also established a working group to determine how to implement the study’s additional recommendations. ~Mayor Peduto

The Buhl Foundation awarded Allies for Children $25,000, which supports The Mentoring Partnership’s crossing guards training and the Fred Rogers Center’s Simple Interactions video series. In addition, federal funding through the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention funded National Mentoring Resource Center will support the initiative, bringing more money and resources to the City.

Partners in the project include Allies for Children, A+ Schools, the City of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Public Schools, The Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern PA, United Way of Allegheny County’s Be There Campaign, the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media and The University of Pittsburgh’s Office of Child Development.

All month, partners will promote the training and the study on social media using #PGHCrossingGuards. Click here to read the study in its entirety.