University of Southern California

Communities

Working with our neighbors to build a strong community

Kid Watch

About Us

Since 1996, The USC Kid Watch program has mobilized volunteers to provide a safe passage for more than 9,000 neighborhood children as they walk to and from school, local parks, museums, libraries and other neighborhood areas.

The Kid Watch volunteers, which are vetted by the USC’s Department of Public Safety and the Los Angeles Police Department, are more than just passive onlookers.  Kid Watch ambassadors proudly don a yellow vest with the programs logo boldly in black as they walk around their neighborhoods. Ambassadors monitor their designated areas and look out for any suspicious behavior. They are relied upon by children around the USC community, not only to provide safe passage, but as a beacon in case an emergency should arise.

The Kid Watch program helps children in the community feel safe, a byproduct of the program is that it improves the quality of K-12 education and the quality of life for neighborhood children and their families.  In mobilizing residents and other stakeholders to “watch and report” the program has helped reduce crime, bullying and pedestrian-vehicle contact.  The program has been instrumental in improving  public safety around the USC community and the USC Family of Schools (FOS).

USC Kid Watch partners throughout the year with the Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) Southwest Division, Los Angeles School Police Department (LASPD), os Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (METRO), USC Department of Public Safety (DPS), USC Civic Engagement, and the USC Family of Schools (FOS).  Other safety partners include USC Fire Safety and Emergency Planning, the City of Los Angeles Emergency Management Department and the City of Los Angeles Fire Department.

Kid Watch volunteers are  proactive with safety issues facing local schools.  Recently the program has implemented a safety valet drop-off system.  Kid Watch members set up safety cones in front of their designated school, which creates a safe area for dropping off children in the morning.  This allows vehicles to pull up along the curb, avoiding any parking and traffic issues.  A Kid Watch ambassador, greets parents and proceeds to make sure their child safely makes it to school. It has created an efficient system, where parents don’t need to leave the drivers seat or deal with the stress of looking for a legal parking space. Which is the goal of the safety valet drop-off system, to prevent any pedestrian-vehicle collisions while organizing the way students are dropped off at traffic heavy schools.

“Kid Watch strives to give its members the skills necessary to be prepared for any type of safety issue.  Simultaneously, we want to be sure we give back to the members who are the backbone of the organization.  We bring resources provided by the university to the v0lunteers so they they can feel like they are making an impact in their community.” said current USC Kid Watch program coordinator, Irvin Jerez.

Nora McDowell has been a Kid Watch member since 1998.  Her initial interest in participating in USC Kid Watch stemmed from wanting to get her own children involved in more activities.  She dreamed of having her kids interacting and playing with others around the community without fear of any negative influences.  Kid Watch was the first step.” McDowell says.

For Nora no only was Kid Watch fun, but it was also an opportunity for her to get out of her comfort zone and actively make an impact in her community.  Kid Watch is happy to have Nora involved for almost 20 years and having her on our team as the ambassador for Weemes Elementary School.

Her fondest memory of the program is her time meeting and recruiting new people into the program.  She looks forward to the end of the year Kid Watch Appreciation Day picnic hosted at the end of each school year.  “I see children playing and parents conversing.  It’s a real sense of community.”

USC Kid Watch partners throughout the year with the Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) Southwest Division, Los Angeles School Police Department (LASPD), os Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (METRO), USC Department of Public Safety (DPS), USC Civic Engagement, and the USC Family of Schools (FOS).  Other safety partners include USC Fire Safety and Emergency Planning, the City of Los Angeles Emergency Management Department and the City of Los Angeles Fire Department.

The USC Kid Watch program is funded by USC University Relations and is made possible by the contributions made by the USC Good Neighbors Campaign.

 

For more information about the Kid Watch program, contact:

USC Community House

2801 S. Hoover St

Los Angeles, Ca 90089

(213)743-5262

 

Like us on social media!

Facebook: @kidwatchusc

Intagram: @usckidwatch

Contact Information
USC Community House
2801 S. Hoover St.
Los Angeles, CA 90089
(213) 743-5262

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