LODI, Calif. – Nobody has a beef about keeping school children safe when they cross the street. A California mom, however, has taken child safety to an udder extreme.
Yadina Peña, of Lodi, is a different kind of volunteer. She dresses in a cow costume to guide children to and from Heritage Elementary School, KCRA reported.
“It makes me feel happy, I don’t know,” Peña told the television station. “I just get this energy, my heart fills up with warmth, I love it.”
Peña said she decided to wear the inflatable cow costume last week because she said she saw several close calls as motorists drove through the city.
“I’ve been without a job for a year. I want to get back to it, but with this chaos, I don’t. I’m scared for my kids,” Peña told KCRA.
But why a cow costume? Some residents agree with the idea of being seen and heard.
“I think it’s good because she catches people’s attention,” Victoria Farias, whose children attend the school, told the television station.
“I feel proud that she’s actually standing up for something that she believes in,” another mother, Jessica Flores, told KCRA. “You don’t see that every day.”
Peña said there have also been critics.
“I had somebody say you just want it for attention, and I said, ‘Yeah, I do. Attention for the kids,’” Peña told the television station.
Peña’s visibility has paid off, A Lodi Unified School District spokesperson said Heritage Elementary School administration requested — and received — more money for a crossing guard.
Peña told KCRA she now can moo-ve to another intersection.
“Maybe it takes a herd of cows and I’m ready for it,” Peña told the television station. “I really want our community to know that we got each other’s backs.”
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