By Kelli Gile
Walnut— Collegewood Elementary students got a lesson in traffic safety last month.
A crew of Community Club volunteers used cardboard cars to demonstrate the rules.
Principal Joan Perez announced the lesson for transitional-kindergarten (TK) through 2nd grade students on the front lawn of the school.
“We want to keep all of you safe when you come to school and go home each day,” she said.
In the first skit, parents Betsy Castellanos and Loi Ay demonstrated the no stopping in the red zone rule.
The misguided driver, Ay, swung his tiny convertible around traffic to the red crosswalk curb.
Castellanos, playing the backpack-carrying student, exited the car with a worried look on her face.
After each entertaining skit, Perez quizzed youngsters about the rules.
“What did they do wrong?” she asked.
“They stopped in the red zone!” the student answered.
“There is NO stopping in the red zone! If it’s red, move ahead!” Perez exclaimed.
“If it’s red, move ahead!” the 200 students repeated. The parents then modeled how to use the correct white-zone area for dropping off and picking up students.
“We just want to educate the kids on the right way to make our school safer,” Castellanos shared.
“And we want to be funny enough for them to remember it!”
Next, parents showed the wrong way to get out of the car.
A bright blue car pulled up to the white curb on Collegewood Drive and the student stepped out onto the street.
“No feet on the street!” corrected Perez.
The principal explained the dangers of double parking – when one car is on the white curb and another car parked in the street.
“And that is not OK!” Perez urged. “Do we ever get out in the middle of the street? No!”
“If you double, it means trouble,” the children and their principal rhymed.
“He could have gotten run over,” said one youngster.
Another volunteer duo in a black-flamed cutout showed students the need to be “quick as light” when exiting the car.
When they pulled up the white curb, the mother took unnecessary time brushing her daughter’s hair and taking a photo while cars waited behind them. The children howled watching the silly adults.
Volunteers demonstrated crosswalk safety when one parent got in trouble making a U-turn in the middle of the street.
The crossing guard scolded the driver when he endangered two mothers with children inside the bright yellow lines.
“I think this safety lesson is important because we often have a lot of congestion in front of Collegewood,” said third grade parent Xochitl Syrett.
“All our parents need to read the signs, pay attention, and drive cautiously,” Rebecca Durani, a fifth grade parent, said.