CROSS­ING HER HEART

Pop­u­lar Wood­lawn Catholic cross­ing guard Lau­rie Robin re­tires

Pawtucket Times - - FRONT PAGE - By JONATHAN BIS­SON­NETTE jbis­son­nette@paw­tuck­et­times.com

PAW­TUCKET – If you’ve ever driven down Wee­den Street in the area of Wood­lawn Catholic Re­gional School, odds are you’ve seen Lau­rie Robin.

She’s hard to miss. While the eyes are drawn to her brightly-col­ored neon vest and size­able red stop sign, what’s eas­i­est to see, and what stu­dents and fac­ulty at the Paw­tucket Catholic school will miss, is her smile.

Robin, a Paw­tucket na­tive, re­tired from her post as cross­ing guard on Fri­day af­ter 11 years in the city – the last five at Wood­lawn Catholic. To thank her for her half-decade of keep­ing chil­dren safe as they tra­verse one of the busiest streets in Paw­tucket, stu­dents at the end of the school day on Fri­day af­ter­noon gave Robin flow­ers, bal­loons, and hand-writ­ten thank you cards.

“I’m over­whelmed,” Robin said as she fought back tears on Fri­day. “I never ex­pected any­thing like this on my last day. This is too much.”

Robin has been a cross­ing guard at a va­ri­ety of Paw­tucket schools in­clud­ing El­iz­a­beth Bald­win El­e­men­tary School, Joseph Jenks Ju­nior High School, and Shea High School. But she said Wood­lawn Catholic has been her fa­vorite post.

“I’ll miss all the kids the most … The snow and the ice, it’s all been worth it be­cause th­ese peo­ple have been very nice,” she said. “I’ve been all around the city but this is my fa­vorite.”

Veron­ica Pro­co­pio, prin­ci­pal at Wood­lawn Catholic, said that Robin has been a very im­por­tant part of the chil­dren’s day-to-day lives, say­ing she

greets them in the morn­ing and makes them feel spe­cial.

“She knows them and the kids feel spe­cial be­cause of it,” Pro­co­pio said. “Cross­ing guards know the kids, they make them feel good at the start and end of the day.”

Mean­while, the pre­sen­ta­tion of gifts to Robin showed the heart of the Wood­lawn Catholic com­mu­nity, Pro­co­pio added.

“It’s who we are, the fam­ily and the com­mu­nity that we are, we know each other well and we care,” she said.

By Pro­co­pio’s es­ti­ma­tion, Robin crossed close to 200 chil­dren daily at her Wee­den Street cross­walk, but she made sure to get to know them all and make them feel valu­able and sig­nif­i­cant.

Cross­ing guard posts are as­signed by the Paw­tucket Po­lice Depart­ment and Pro­co­pio said she did not know who would be as­signed to the Wee­den Street cross­walk for school on Mon­day morn­ing. She said it is “an im­por­tant po­si­tion” and one she hopes the next can fill as well as Robin.

As Robin strug­gled to hold all of her gifts – a few bal­loons man­aged to float away Fri­day af­ter­noon as they were dif­fi­cult for one per­son to con­tain – she con­tem­plated what it meant to be thanked by the en­tire school com­mu­nity.

“I guess I was ap­pre­ci­ated more than I thought,” she said. “This was a shock.”

Photo by Jonathan Bis­son­nette

Wood­lawn Catholic Re­gional School cross­ing guard Lau­rie Robin re­ceives gifts from stu­dents on her last day as a cross­ing guard on Fri­day.

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