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October 22, 2014

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Parents volunteer to make crosswalks safer

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Keith Shimada / Special to the Home News

Crossing guard Dareece Navarro, a Summerlin resident and school parent, stops traffic as a woman walks her daughter to Keith and Karen Hayes Elementary School.

What used to be a rather hazardous intersection at Keith and Karen Hayes Elementary School — at the corner of Park Street and Twain Avenue — has become much safer thanks to the dedication of one Summerlin resident.

Dareece Navarro, who is also a parent at Hayes Elementary, became the school's Crosswalk Program Coordinator during the first week of November.

Twice each school day — first at 8:45 a.m. and then at 3:15 p.m. — Navarro dons a neon green reflective vest and totes a bright red stop sign.

"It gets a little congested before and after school," Navarro said. "You have some parents getting impatient and kids trying to cross. It's a 10-minute ball of chaos that we need to control."

Navarro felt the need to volunteer after watching the intersection at the beginning of this school year, when it was unsupervised. One day after school, she finally decided to approach Principal Scott Bailey.

"I saw Mr. Bailey and got kind of fussy with him," she said. "But he told me how Metro had a training program and then he asked me if I wanted to get involved. I said 'sure.'"

A crosswalk supervisor from Metro met with Navarro in early November and walked her through the essentials needed to be a good crossing guard.

"You serve as a buffer between cars and the kids," Navarro said. "You need to keep your head on a swivel, make sure drivers see you and make sure the kids stop and wait on the curb for your signal."

Bailey said the school is looking for more volunteers in the crossing guard program. Navarro was the only crossing guard until another parent was approved for the program on Dec. 15.

"Her daughter attends our after-school kindergarten program, so technically Dareece has no business here in the morning," Bailey said. "She still drives over here and gives us her time. It's very kind of her."

Navarro said she enjoys her job and has befriended many of the Hayes students.

"When parents and kids see me out there I think it calms them down a bit," she said.

For more information about the crosswalk volunteer program at Hayes, call 799-6030.

Sig Rogich Middle School is also seeking volunteers for its crossing guard program each school day. The morning shift is from 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. and the afternoon shift is from 2:05 p.m. to 2:40 p.m.

For more information, call Mack Megown at 799-6040 ext. 4500.

Jeff O’Brien can be reached at 990-8957 or [email protected].

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