AAA honors Springfield Park ES fifth-grade safety patroller

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A Henrico County student has been named an Outstanding School Safety Patroller for the 2021-2022 school year by AAA.

Delina Alem, a fifth-grader at Springfield Park Elementary School, was surprised with the award last week at an end-of-year party for the patrol.

Alem’s art teacher described her as calm, quiet, mindful and alert and as someone who always leads by example. She was praised for her maturity and dependability and for taking her duties and her post seriously.  She was also willing to help out wherever needed, even when it was something outside of AAA school safety patrol duties.

Alem’s desire to become a safety patrol member actually came from a negative experience she had as a younger student. A monitor on an afterschool care bus was mean to her and to other children, and that did not sit well with her. It motivated her to want to become a patroller when she got older to show kids how leading with kindness is the way to encourage safe practices and protect fellow classmates.

On top of being a top notch safety patroller, Alem also is an artist whose work has been selected to represent her school in numerous art shows during the past few years. Some of her work recently was displayed at the Henrico School’s Central Office as part of the school system’s Black History Month exhibit. She wants to pursue a career in marine biology later in life.

Alem was presented with her award by Glenside AAA Retail Manager Drew Kinder (above) during a surprise presentation in front of family and friends at a pizza party celebrating the patrol.

“We are so happy to support these programs at schools across Virginia,” says AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesperson Morgan Dean. “We give these young people the training to help make their school safer and we’re always so impressed to see how innovative they can be when it comes to implementing changes and improvements at their schools.”

For more than 100 years, the AAA School Safety Patrol has been the world’s largest school-based safety program. Safety Patrols are trained to recognize safety hazards to create a safer school environment. More than 679,000 children throughout the country participate in the program each year.

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