Celebrating George, and Other Community Heroes Who Are Keeping Kids Safe
This is the sixth post in a series of 10 guest blog posts from the leaders of Safe Kids Worldwide affiliates that FedEx works with around the world in support of child pedestrian road safety initiatives. With tens of thousands of vehicles on the world’s roadways, FedEx is actively engaged in promoting road safety. This month, from Canada, we will hear from Julie Taylor, Coordinator, Parachute, a Safe Kids affiliate.
“George makes everyone glad to walk to school.“
“…he makes it safe to cross the street by blowing his whistle and putting up his stop sign.”
“…he really understands us and really wants to keep us safe!”
(these are quotes from grade 4/5 students of Beaumont School, Winnipeg, Manitoba)
George Drad is the crossing guard for Beaumont School in Winnipeg. Mr. Drad’s son was killed as a child while crossing the street, a tragedy that compelled him to become a crossing guard 15 years ago after he retired. Mr. Drad knows the names of the children he helps across the road and his wife, who died recently, used to knit mittens, hats and scarves for the children.
George was one of the winners of Canada’s Favorite Crossing Guard Contest which takes place from September-November each year. The contest is a unique way to recognize the commitment and service of crossing guards, who are so dedicated to ensuring children make the safe journey to-and-from school. It’s part of Canada’s Walk This Way pedestrian safety program sponsored by FedEx Express Canada.
In Canada, pedestrian injuries are one of the leading causes of injury-related deaths for children 14 years of age and younger. We are grateful to our friends at FedEx for their commitment to child pedestrian safety. Parachute’s Walk This Way program aims to reduce child pedestrian injuries and deaths in Canada by supporting the development of safe and active environments, through community-based programs, educational resources, and national media advocacy. Our pedestrian program offers resources and tools for parents, caregivers, teachers and community groups who share our goals of enhancing child pedestrian safety.
And it’s working. According to Transport Canada, the number of child pedestrian injuries and deaths has slowly declined over the last decade. Parachute, a Safe Kids affiliate, wants to see the rates continue to go down because each fatality is a tragedy – most often a preventable one.
By working together with FedEx and with community heroes, including George Drad, we will continue to make a difference in the lives of children and families throughout Canada and around the world.