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North Dakotan Named America's Favorite Crossing Guard
North Dakota Ag Connection - 05/15/2018

Bob Rost, a crossing guard known for his dedication to safety, was named America's Favorite Crossing Guard by Safe Kids Worldwide and FedEx in a morning assembly in front of students, parents, faculty and elected officials at J Nelson Kelly Elementary School in Grand Forks, N.D. Rost, when not volunteering as a crossing guard, is the sheriff of Grand Forks. Rost was selected from an impressive group of 55 outstanding crossing guards nominated from communities across the country for going above and beyond in his contributions to keeping kids safe on their way to and from school.

"Bob has been influential to our crossing guard program not just at Kelly Elementary where he volunteers every day of the year (rain, shine, snow and 20 below) but all across our state," said Carma Hanson, coordinator of Safe Kids Grand Forks. "His work on legislation opened the door to schools being able to have crossing guard programs in our state. His role modeling of a successful safety patrol program has helped to gain the confidence of school administrators and now that program is taking off thanks to his efforts. The kids at Kelly Elementary School, in all of Grand Forks County and in the state of North Dakota are safer because of Sheriff Bob and his work and dedication to pedestrian safety."

Safety in school zones is more important than ever. A research report released by Safe Kids Worldwide, made possible with support from FedEx, revealed that school zones can be unsafe places for students. The research, "Alarming Dangers in School Zones," is an observational study that included 39,000 walkers and 56,000 drivers in school zones. It recorded risky behaviors, including distracted walking by students, distracted driving by those dropping off, unsafe speed limits, unmarked crosswalks and limited crossing guards.

The research revealed that about 80 percent of students were observed crossing the street in an unsafe manner. And nearly one in three drivers displayed unsafe behaviors that endangered student pedestrians, like texting, double parking or blocking a crosswalk.

Safe Kids and FedEx launched the America's Favorite Crossing Guard campaign to raise awareness about the tremendous contribution that crossing guards make to keeping kids safe in school zone.

"With pedestrian deaths on the rise and kids and drivers more distracted than ever, crossing guards are our unsung champions," said Kristin Rosenthal, program manager for road safety at Safe Kids Worldwide. "Many crossing guards are volunteers, like Bob, who donate their time to keeping kids safe on their way to school. Bob is one of many dedicated crossing guards around the country who deserve our gratitude."

"At FedEx, we are committed to protecting kids on the road," said Matthew Thornton, senior vice president of U.S. operations at FedEx Express. "America's Favorite Crossing Guard is a unique opportunity for Safe Kids Worldwide and FedEx to join together to raise awareness about the important work crossing guards do every day across the United States and to encourage students, parents and communities to show appreciation to these unsung civic heroes."

This is the second year Safe Kids Worldwide has named America's Favorite Crossing Guard.

Safe Kids Worldwide is a nonprofit organization working to prevent childhood injury, the number one cause of death for children in the United States. Throughout the world, almost one million children die of an injury each year, and almost every one of these tragedies is preventable. Safe Kids works with an extensive network of more than 400 coalitions in the U.S. and with partners in more than 30 countries to reduce traffic injuries, drownings, falls, burns, poisonings and more. Since 1988, Safe Kids has helped reduce the U.S. childhood death rate from unintentional injury by 60 percent. Working together, we can do much more for kids everywhere. Join our effort at safekids.org.

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