AAA donates $28,000 to Detroit Public Schools “Safe Routes” to help children traveling to school

AAA of Michigan presented a $28,000 check to the Detroit Public Schools (DPS) to help expand the district’s volunteer patrol program to keep children safer when traveling to school.  The check was presented to school district leaders at Fisher Magnet Lower Academy, located at 15510 E. State Fair Rd., Detroit today (August 28, 2013).

The AAA donation will help fund the “Safe Routes” program in 14 key school zones to ensure the safety and security of children and their families as they walk to and from schools and bus stops.  The money will pay for gas cards for volunteers to drive around schools and reflective safety vests for volunteers on foot patrols.

“We are pleased to partner with the Detroit Public Schools on this important safety program, which begins as doors open for the new school year,” said Chuck Podowski, president and CEO of AAA/The Auto Club Group, speaking to school officials, citizen patrol volunteers and AAA safety patrollers.

“We are going to work more closely with our safety patrollers at this school and others in the Safe Routes program.  We will provide more training and support to help our young patrollers,” he added.  “This is part of our nearly 100-year history of giving back to the communities where our employees and members live and work.”

Podowski noted AAA’s commitment to the Detroit Public Schools dates back to 1919, when AAA established the first AAA School Safety Patrol at Detroit’s Alger Elementary School.  Today, AAA sponsors 32,836 safety patrollers in 1,076 schools statewide, including Fisher Magnet Lower Academy.

AAA ‘s donation was the first corporate donation received in response to the District’s “call to action” for support of the expansion of its citizen volunteer patrol programs to increase “Safe Routes” for Detroit children and their families going to and from school.  The district is seeking more volunteers to assist with patrols in 14 key school zones. The volunteer patrol groups are on duty before and after class, providing students greater safety and security, and allowing them to focus more on academics.

“The safety of our students is a top priority for Detroit Public Schools,” noted DPS Emergency Manager Jack Martin.  “We remain committed to reducing crime in and around our schools.  In fact, we have reduced overall on-campus incidents by 10 percent in the last two years and serious on-campus incidents by as much as 61 percent in that same time frame. The strong support and engagement we receive from the community helps us keep our students safer.

“As we continue to improve safety for our students, we are creating safer routes to and from school by expanding our citizen patrol teams,” added DPS Police Chief Roderick Grimes. “The more concerned citizens who volunteer, the safer our children will be as they travel to and from school.”

In addition to Fisher Magnet Lower Academy, the key school zones with increasing “Safe Routes” volunteer patrols include Osborn campus; Cody campus; Martin Luther King, Jr. Senior High; East English Village Preparatory High School; Sampson-Webber; Emerson; Bow; J.R. King; Fisher Upper; Mason; Communication and Media Arts; Henderson, and Noble.

AAA Michigan has been active in traffic safety since its founding nearly a century ago, with activities including teen driving safety and road safety improvement programs.   It is part of The Auto Club Group (ACG), the second largest AAA club in North America.  ACG and its affiliates provide membership, travel, insurance and financial services offerings to approximately 8.9 million members across 11 states and two U.S. territories, including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana.  ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with nearly 53 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety.

About Detroit Public Schools

Detroit Public Schools is creating Centers of Excellence at its 97 schools with the goal of educating students to perform at the highest academic levels. DPS offers a wide variety of educational advantages to students and parents including Individualized Learning Maps for all students, and Academic Blueprints for all parents. Students in grades 8-12 enjoy take-home Netbooks and students in grades 6 and up have access to Netbooks in school. An outstanding Fine Arts Program with instrumental music, vocal music and dance is also offered. Ongoing advantages include nine new self-governing schools, Detroit Rising College Preparatory Schools, and DPS-authorized charter schools led by educators with proven track records of raising achievement. In 2013, DPS graduates earned more than $146 million in grants and scholarships. To learn more about Detroit Public Schools, visit or call 313-240-4DPS.

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