Anderson Whitted. Photo via Safe Kids Orange County.

This week’s Hometown Hero is Anderson Whitted, crossing guard at Central Elementary School. He is in the running for America’s Favorite Crossing Guard, a contest hosted by Safe Kids Worldwide to celebrate all that crossing guards do for their communities.

“About 80 percent of students do not cross safely,” says Lindsay Bailey, Safe Kids Coordinator for Orange County. “There’s only crossing guards present at about three out of ten middle schools and only one out of ten high schools, and that can make a really big difference in the safety of the students and the families when they’re coming and going from the school. Having someone like Mr. Whitted at Central Elementary School is really important so our children are able to come in and out of the school when their parents drop them off.”

Mr. Whitted is very active in the school, and not only as a crossing guard and morning greeter. He works with students who are members of the Good News Club. He believes in students learning and actively works to help them become responsible members of the school community.

“We are really excited to be able to nominate him based on that he’s been working at Central for seven years,” says Bailey. “He lives across the street, and not only when he’s on duty, but he kind of always keeps an eye out for the school, according to the principal and assistant principal. Students know they can rely on him, not only to help make sure they get in and out of school, but he’s also a warm presence that’s part of the school community.”

You can vote for Mr. Whitted once a day here until January 31, 2018.