February 12-16 is not just the week of Valentine’s Day. It’s also Crossing Guard Appreciation Week and Love the Bus Week. Join APS in celebrating our crossing guards and school buses.
What is Crossing Guard Appreciation Week?
Crossing Guard Appreciation Week is an annual Safe Routes to School celebration recognizing Crossing Guards for the critical role they play in the safe routes to school network. Thousands of APS students regularly walk and bike to school with assistance from the 30+ Crossing Guards who make up the Arlington County Police Department Crossing Guard Unit. Most guards cover more than one school at both arrival and dismissal time each day. In addition to helping students who walk and bike, Arlington’s Crossing Guards also help ensure that school bus riders arrive at school safely. They do their job every school day, in all weather conditions. With shorter daylight hours, cold temperatures and sometimes treacherous conditions, February can be one of the toughest times on the job for Crossing Guards. Crossing Guard Appreciation Week is a way to remind them how much we appreciate and value their service every day.
Find a Way to Celebrate
APS encourages students, families, and schools to recognize these committed individuals during Crossing Guard Appreciation Week. Here are some ideas:
- Make thank you cards to give to your Crossing Guard on the way to or from school
- Write and sing songs or recite poems thanking your Crossing Guard for their help
- Bring your guard some cookies, donuts or other treats they can enjoy after their shift
- Write thank you notes from parents and school staff to deliver in person or send in with students. Principals may also write official letters of appreciation for students to deliver (see Virginia Safe Routes to School Resources)
- Check out ideas in the Virginia Safe Routes to School Crossing Guard Appreciation Learn It Do It Live It Guide
- Share your experience on Twitter using the hashtag #APSCrossingGuardAppreciation, tag the Arlington County Police Department, @ArlingtonVaPD and APS Safe Routes to School, @APSsaferoutes
What is Love the Bus Week?
Love the Bus Week is a national event hosted by the American School Bus Council to express appreciation of school bus drivers. Like Crossing Guards, bus drivers report before sunrise and often complete their last route after dark. Arlington Transportation Partners (ATP), APS’s partner in supporting APS Go!, is raising awareness of the importance of riding buses for the APS community. Riding the bus, just like biking, walking and carpooling, is one way that the APS community can support healthy, sustainable transportation.
Find a Way to Celebrate
- If your child is school-bus eligible, be sure to let them ride the bus during Love the Bus Week! Since Valentine’s Day is in the middle of Love the Bus Week, they could take their drivers valentines.
- Students K-12 can get an iRide SmarTrip card. The iRide card gives students discounted $1 rides on ART buses 24/7 (full-price fares apply on Metrobus and Metrorail). Riding the bus is just one way to encourage independence in teens.
- APS employees and parents can ride public buses to get to APS schools as well! Every APS school and site has at least one bus route that stops within a half-mile radius, making the bus convenient as well as environmentally friendly.
- Try one of several websites to help plan your trip on a public bus, including Google Maps, Car Free Near Me, CarFreeAtoZ, or Metro’s Trip Planner. Transit is a good app to download to your smart phone for trip planning on the spot. And be sure to check out the whole list of Transportation Choices on the APS Go! website.
- Share your experience on Twitter using the hashtag #APSBusLove and tag the APS Transportation Department, @APSSchoolBus, as well as Arlington Transportation Partners, @ATPCommutes
For more information on Crossing Guard Appreciation Week, contact APS Safe Routes to School Coordinator Lauren Hassel at email@example.com. For more on Love the Bus Week, contact Elizabeth Denton of ATP at firstname.lastname@example.org.