Tammy Anderson isn't just a crossing guard for Beasley Academic Center in the Washington Park Neighborhood. She's a neighborhood staple.
Every morning and afternoon, you can find the 52-year-old at the corner of 53rd and State Streets, bringing smiles to everyone who passes by with her unique dance moves and dashing energy.
"She will have this whole street lit up," said Sandra Johnson, a parent with students at Beasley Academic Center. "Tammy, that’s our girl.”
Tammy is one of 600 crossing guards who works for Chicago Public Schools. Her job is to make sure students, parents and staff members can cross the street safely. But it's the way she does it, that makes her stand out from the rest.
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"She has that smile that's infectious, she's always dancing or waving and everyone loves it," said Karen Yeatman, Tammy’s supervisor. "She has a genuine interest in her community... she comes out to service this intersection and she does it with pride with dignity."
The mother of three has been a crossing guard for Chicago Public Schools since 2016. And in a short period of time, she has become a popular icon.
"When I started, just standing there I got bored just waiting on the children and then one day, someone waved at me... I waved back and then it got contagious and I just started, hey!," said Tammy.
That contagious energy, comes naturally... rain or shine. She moves and grooves to Gospel music on a daily basis, never missing a beat. It's sort of a workout, she says. An impromptu daily dance routine that she says, has helped her loose about 100 pounds in two years.
"She does it from the heart. She doesn’t do it for a paycheck or for the recognition, she does it because this is what she loves," said Sandra Johnson.
And judging by the all the honking and waving from drivers passing by, the community, loves her too.
"When someone comes back and tell me that I brought them joy... when someone comes and tells me I was having a bad day until I crossed that intersection... that makes my day," said Tammy. "I bless the streets before I get out here, so they could be covered with joy and have a happy day when they come by."