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Helping The School Their Goal

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Two members of the Haisley - School Safety Patrol organization said they became Safety Patrol members because they "wanted to help out the school." Sponsored by the Automobile Association of America (AAA) the School Safety Patrol organization involves a large number of Ann Arbor fifth and sixth graders in each elementary building. At Haisley school, Ken Draayer, and Karen McLaurin, both sixth graders, are part of a committee of about 45 students who work both inside and outside as a safety service squad. These students spend time before school, during noon and after school helping students cross street corners and assisting in keeping the halls safe for students coming and leaving the building. According to Principal Louise Ritsema, the Haisley Safety Patrol organization began some 18 years ago when the school first opened. Equipment for the safety patrols includes b e 1 1 s, arm bands, raincoats, posters, literature, badges and membership cards, all provided for the youngsters and schools by the AAA. "We hold a training session in the spring for the students interested in working as ty patrols the next year," explained Miss Lois Theis, a sixth grade teacher at Haisley and school sponsor for the committee. "This year we have found out that more girls than usual want to have posts outdoors instead of inside the building, but the boys still feel that they should have these stations," she said, "so we have different groups rotate positions." According to Miss Ritsema and Miss Theis, the safety patrol organization provides students with a basic training situation and incorporates safety education. "We have safety checks for bicycles and learn the safest routes to the school along with annual visits from the pólice department," said Miss Theis. One of the hardest parts of the job is standing outside in the cold weather according to Patrol Captain Ken and Lt.j Karen. Of course their job also brings about an occasional hazards such as the time Ken says he almost' got run over] by a student in a driver's training car. And there was the incident when Karen's out-l stretched arms went unnoticed by a small kindergartener and "he just kept walking . . . I guess he was so short he didn't see me." The Safety Patrol organization also has monthly functions such as parties and other outings for the group. They also meet every three weeks i and review basic safety training.