Jan. 20, 2017


is said that any job worth doing is worth doing well. Just ask Benny Crawford, an
IPS crossing guard for Center for Inquiry School 84.


infectious high-fives and motivational well wishes bring a smile to everyone
who crosses his path, which in the weekday mornings and afternoons is at the intersection
of 57th Street and Central Avenue. He’s been a staple there since 2014. Benny Crawford


reason I chose this job is because I like to see each and every student,
teacher and parent get to school by crossing the street in a safe manner. I
enjoy being the first motivating force families see before their student enters
the school in the morning,” said Crawford.


personal journey to work includes taking two city busses — making two
roundtrips a day — and walking an additional two blocks along College Avenue to
take his daily post. It’s a total of 36 miles a day, but Crawford said he likes
the commute. “I choose to travel by bus because I enjoy public transportation.”


he rarely misses a day of work, no matter how severe the elements might be.


“Benny is always so
reliable and so happy. He always greets everyone with a smile and keeps our
kiddos safe,” said CFI 84 parent Elizabeth Marshall. “He always brightens my
day with his ‘supermom’ and ‘super kid’ greetings and high-fives.”


“Benny is definitely a
highlight of our day! No matter how gloomy of a morning, Benny’s energy and
enthusiasm instantly make you feel better and ready to go,” said parent Sara
Long. “I appreciate how much he cares for the kids, and I have seen him at so
many CFI events during his personal time. The kids adore him and we are so
happy he is here at CFI to keep our kids safe!”


knows that the admiration for him is sincere.


students and parents express their appreciation to me by giving me cards or
letters that tell me how much of an inspiration I am to them,” he said. “The
Girl Scout troop even gave me a surprise birthday party. They make me feel like
a super star!”


But for Crawford, it’s not
about the accolades or the surprise birthday parties. He genuinely loves what
he does and considers each day that he gets to interact with CFI 84’s families
a blessing. It’s a job that also keeps him motivated.


an IPS crossing guard makes me happy.  It
brings me joy to see these students grow over the years,” said Crawford. “I
enjoy having the opportunity to motivate them and give them something to smile
about as they start their day.”


has even sparked a saying inside parent Julie Komiski’s home.


“Benny is one of those
people that just makes you feel happy to be alive. He is the most positive
person I have ever met,” said Komiski. “We have a little saying in our house, and
that is ‘Be a Benny.’ I will often tell my kiddos this when they are facing a
particular challenge or having a hard time getting motivated. The world could
use more Benny’s!”


Here’s what other CFI 84 parents are saying about Benny

  • “Benny, he is a
    guy everyone at CFI 84 knows,” said Darrin Wright, father of two first
    graders.  “You can’t but help to know
    him. He greets EVERYONE. I don’t know his schedule, and for all I know he may
    only work 20 minutes a day, but he is worth a million dollars.”
  • “Benny goes above and
    beyond every day, rain or shine and in freezing conditions. He greets every
    student when he sees them approach with enthusiasm. He takes pride in what he
    does, and always does it with a smile,” said Lori Coe. “He starts each
    student’s day feeling like they are important. He wishes them a good day when
    they arrive. My daughter and I have talked many times on our way into school
    about his enthusiasm and appreciation for his job. He is an excellent example
    for our students to always put their best foot forward and lead by example.”