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People Taking Action: Norfolk crossing guard gives encouraging words to students every morning

Posted at 7:05 PM, Sep 22, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-22 19:05:21-04

Norfolk, Va. - At a busy intersection near Norfolk's St. Helena Elementary, you'll find 79-year-old Lucille Johnson offering an encouraging word and an occasional hug to students and parents she helps to cross the street.

The retiree has been doing this for about four years. When NewsChannel 3's Kurt Williams approached her, we told her we had been hearing good things about her in an email.

"The children that she helps cross the street have the utmost respect for her. She takes time out to listen to you. She is a woman of wisdom, kindhearted, caring and respectful," read the email.

That's why one viewer nominated her for a People Taking Action award.  Lucille was completely surprised.

"Oh my God! Oh thank you so much. This is great!"

Lucille will tell you, she treats the school kids at her crosswalk like her own grandchildren.

"I don't know, I just love kids. Yes I do. I love kids," says Johnson.

The school's principal, Vandelyn Hodges, is fully aware that it's a blessing having a grandmotherly figure as a crossing guard.

"Well, I think it takes a neighborhood, a village to raise children and she is just dedicated."

In addition to a People Taking Action pin, we presented her with a $300 Visa gift card from our community partner Southern Bank.

"Oh my God, thank you so much. Lord, I don't know what to say. This is beautiful! Thank you so much thank you so much!" replied Johnson.