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Elementary students get safety ID cards

Photo by Curt Yeomans
Anderson Elementary School kindergartners go through the stages of getting safety-oriented identification cards made, in the school's cafeteria.

Photo by Curt Yeomans Anderson Elementary School kindergartners go through the stages of getting safety-oriented identification cards made, in the school's cafeteria.

By Curt Yeomans

cyeomans@news-daily.com

The Anderson Elementary School students came, one-by-one, through an assembly-line-styled process that took maybe a minute at the most to complete.

Their height was checked. They were weighed. One of their fingerprints was scanned and recorded. Then, each moved a foot to his or her right to have a photograph taken. In three weeks, identification cards, with all of that information recorded on them, as well as date of birth, eye color and hair color, will arrive at the students' homes, according to the people who were recording all of the information about the children.

The card will sort of look like driver's licenses, but they will actually be tools the students' parents can use to aid law enforcement in searching for the children, in case the youngsters ever get lost. The ID cards were being made by IDENT-A-KID Services of America, the same company that provides the computerized check-in, and check-out systems for all Clayton County schools.

"We just offer it as a service to our parents," said Anderson Elementary School Principal Marsha Hood. "It's not really something we need them to do, but it helps make their children safe. It gives them an opportunity to get all of this information recorded in one place, and to get a current picture of their children ... It's just a safety issue."

Chris Adamo, the owner of the Stockbridge-based, local IDENT-A-KID franchise branch, said she, and one of her technicians, processed 145 of Anderson Elementary's approximately 490 students, in a two-hour period on Tuesday morning. Then, she and her technician were scheduled to go over to East Clayton Elementary School to do the same thing, she said.

Today, they're scheduled to visit more Clayton County schools. The cost of the cards is $7 for one, $10 for two, and $15 for four, according to one of the pricing envelopes, in which the children had to bring their money.

In addition to Clayton County schools, Adamo said, she also goes to schools in Henry, DeKalb and Gwinnett counties, to make ID cards for children. She said she has lost track of how many she makes in any given year, but, "It's a lot."

The local IDENT-A-KID franchise owner said the benefit of parents' having these cards made, at least, once every few years, is that they have something that can help identify their children in case of an emergency.

"So, if something happens to their child, they can use this card," Adamo said. "If their bus is in an accident, that parent can give this card to law enforcement, who can then use it to help the parent find their child ... "

Adamo said the ID cards can now also be sent to parents on their cell phones, so they will be able to forward the information to other people, in case of an emergency.

Hood said her school has IDENT-A-KID come in early in the school year, to get the cards made, as part of process of starting up the school year. She said it is best to do it early-on, before school truly gets into full swing, with special activity days, school assemblies, guest speakers, and field trips. "We usually do it early in the year, before it gets too wild and crazy," the principal said.

Adamo said some parents choose to get a new card every year. "I tell them they can put the cards in their child's baby book, and have a record of how much their child has grown from year to year," she said.

Fifth-grader, Keshaun Black, 10, said, "I've gotten it every year. I think it's good because if I get lost, my mom can show my picture to the police, so they can look for me. People would know how old I am, and they know what I look like."

Black's classmates, Jazzmyn Iverson, 10, and Uriel Martinez, 9, said they do not get new cards as often, however. Both of the youngsters went to get updated cards on Tuesday. "I get a new card whenever my mom says I need a new card," said Iverson. "I think the last time was in the third-grade."

Martinez said he needed a new card, because he has grown up some since his last card was made. "The last time I got one was in the second grade," he said. "I've grown a couple of inches since then."

Adamo said any parents who would like to have a card made for their child can call (770) 922-1129, and set up a time when she is at any school in the area.