By Charlie Senack, Barrhaven Independent
The Ottawa Safety Council is looking for more crossing guards in Barrhaven to ensure kids can get to school safely.
Barrhaven, known as a family-driven community with close to 30 schools, is becoming one of the hottest places to live in Ottawa. With schools on almost every corner and more to be built, the importance of safety is key.
Jamie Kwong, the non-profit’s executive director, said they are having a hard time keeping up with the demand to place crossing guards at many of the community’s schools.
“We are always hiring,” she said. “We have a shortage of crossing guards in Barrhaven. We need some more guards there.”
But not only is it crossing guards they are looking for. Kwong says they have a team lead position available in Barrhaven, and are looking for someone to manage a group of crossing guards in the neighborhood.
“It’s great for people who want to get involved in the community, it offers great paid training, and is amazing for those looking for a great supplemental income,” said Kwong. “The rate starts at $23 an hour. The person would play a leadership role, and it’s a really engaging opportunity that keeps you outside.”
Kwong says the opportunities for becoming a crossing guard are great for those who might be gig workers, or for those who are taxi or Uber drivers. It’s an opportunity to bring in some extra cash while also doing good for the community.
Rosa Bucci, a current crossing guard at Cambrian road near Kilbirnie in Half Moon Bay, says she feels privileged to be serving the community in some capacity.
“When my youngest entered high school I was ready to get out of the house and was looking for part-time work,” the St. Cecilia crossing guard said. “ A friend of mine at the time was a crossing guard and convinced me to give it a try.”
Bucci has been a crossing guard for nine years now and feels like she’s a part of something big. With no signs of stopping, the Barrhaven crossing guard said it’s one of the best decisions she made.
“I love crossing the kids everyday and their parents, they make me feel so appreciated for what I do,” Bucci said. “I love to see the kids everyday with big smiles on their faces when they see me. It warms even on the coldest winter day.”
Like every year, the Ottawa Safety Council has launched its ‘Ottawa favourite crossing guards contest’, to shine light on the “unsung safety heroes.” The winner will receive a $500 cash prize, and the school associated with the highest level of participation will win a $300 Canadian Tire gift card. Further details on the process of how to nominate can be found on the Ottawa Safety Council website.
Kwong says people can visit their website to learn about the many career opportunities in Barrhaven, and to learn about the countless contests and events they hold.
“Our goal is to make it so that everyone can enjoy travelling our roads and getting to where you need to go safely,” she said.