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Students from the Santa Maria-Bonita School District took to the streets Friday to thank the other adults responsible for their safe arrival to school: crossing guards.

In honor of Crossing Guard Appreciation Day, students at eight district schools presented gifts — some received sweatshirts and banners, others got gift cards and letters — to the crossing guards who work Monday through Friday to ensure nothing happens on their walk to and from school.

Fifteen minutes before school let out Friday, members of Alvin Elementary's student council gathered in the school's main office with a large banner thanking David Tatsuno, a 22-year crossing guard, for all his hard work. Marching out of the office toward Tatsuno, the students, led by Assistant Principal Amanda Sweigart, hoped to surprise him before hundreds of other students came rushing out of school.

"I was looking for a part-time job and this really fit into my schedule," said Tatsuno, who can normally be found on the corner of North Miller Street and Alvin Avenue. "I really like it."

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Students presented Tatsuno with the banner and an Alvin Tigers sweatshirt, thanking him for everything he does to keep them safe.

"After today, it feels like something more [than a job.]"

When driving near schools, drivers should remain alert and aware of their surroundings, and obey posted speed limits and the direction of crossing guards. Pedestrians and bicyclists should stay mindful of the traffic and congestion.

Mathew Burciaga covers education in Santa Maria and the surrounding area for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow him on Twitter @math_burciaga


Education Reporter

Santa Maria Times reporter Mathew Burciaga covers education for Lee Central Coast Newspapers.