SOUTH DAYTON - A sea of elementary students wearing purple entered the Pine Valley Elementary School gym to cheer on those who keep them safe to and from school, as well as those who are there for peer support.
The school held its annual Bus Driver Appreciation assembly where elementary students honored the bus drivers that transport them to and from school each day. In addition to honoring bus drivers, CASS mentors received their T-shirts to symbolize completing the training.
CASS, which stands for Creating a Safer School, is a program during which sixth-grade students complete a 5-week training course to learn how to be a mentor. Twenty-four students were selected to wear the CASS T-shirt.
OBSERVER Photo by Samantha McDonnell
Elementary School Counselor Amanda Miller announces the new class of CASS mentors during the annual Bus Driver Appreciation assembly.
"We create a safer school by not bullying," elementary counselor Amanda Miller said.
CASS mentors also presented a banner to the school in which students will sign their name in order to stop bullying.
"If you take this pledge to stop bullying, I ask you to sign this banner," Miller said.
Elementary School Principal Scott Burdick said to show appreciation is to be "grateful and thankful." He introduced the safety patrol, a group of students who in the hallways and entrances of school to ensure students are being safe. Burdick also awarded Alyssa Scheffer a gift certificate for her good deed on a bus.
"Sometimes you hear stories about people who do good things," Burdick said.
Scheffer was on the school bus when she saw two second grade students arguing. She then said, "I'm Alyssa and I'm a CASS mentor and I love you," according to Burdick. Scheffer then helped the two students on the bus talk out their argument.
"It's truly a great act of kindness," Burdick said.
Bus drivers also helped students learn about proper crossing procedure by demonstration. The students were taught to check before you step, "I see you, you see me," the universal cross signal and check again. Students were taught they should check before they get off the school bus for traffic, look at the bus driver until they give the universal hand signal to cross then check once again for oncoming traffic once in front of the bus.
"When you get in front of the bus, stop and look both ways again," bus driver Kristin Sercu said.
Students who practice outstanding crossing procedure were honored with a certificate to recognize their behavior. More than 30 students received certificates. Members of the safety patrol sang a song with the steps for successful crossing for students to remember.
Bus drivers honored were Julie Goodway, Cathy Chase, Deb Walker, Becky Chapman, Sercu, Julie Maynard, Tina Graziano, Steve King, Dee Herman, Dave Howard, Patsy Moskal, Michelle Lanphere, Darlene Morrison, Mia Abbey, Don Herb, Gretchen Gage, Jeff Bromley, Bruce Newcomb, Roxanne Overturf, Chuck Luce, Tom Maynard with substitute bus drivers Betty Milspaw, Deb Taylor, Leslie Miliman, Ryan Stefanik, Jeff Bailey, Darin Ackley and Don Silva.
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