CHICAGO — More than 1,300 people were honored today for their near daily commitment to keeping kids safe as they walk to and from school.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot, CPS CEO Pedro Martinez, and CPD Superintendent David Brown were among the local leaders celebrating the CPS Safe Passage program at its annual end-of-year rally. Chicago Park District CEO Rosa Escareno was also present and announced an expansion of the program to help kids get to and from park district events throughout the summer.

During the school year, Safe Passage workers stand along routes to 163 schools to help kids walk with confidence and a sense of security. At past rallies leaders have touted the program’s positive impact, citing statistics which show a decrease in crime and an increase in school attendance.

Safe Passages was first launched in 2009 and served 35 schools. Its largest expansion came in 2013 following the closure of more than 50 schools.

Workers commit to five hours per day, five days a week, to help keep approximately 100,000 students safe throughout the school year.