By Linda Mumma

MODESTO (CBS13) – He brightens kids’ days one high-five at a time. Now a 6th grade teacher from Modesto is in the running to be “America’s Favorite Crossing Guard.”

They call him Mr. Brite – and not just because of his fluorescent yellow jacket and bright red sign.

Each day before and after school, crossing guard Mike Brite brightens kids’ days with a high five.

“I stay out here from 8:10 till the bell rings,” Brite said.

For the last 26 years, Mr. Brite has braved both the Central Valley’s sizzling heat and frigid air.

“I mean, this is a very busy intersection and he puts himself out here every morning – and I can’t tell him how thankful I am that somebody is willing to do that,” said parent John Wilkinson.

It’s not only the same block where he went to school, but the same neighborhood he’s lived and worked in for his entire life.

“I’m pretty dedicated to my job to make sure the kids stay safe,” Brite said.

While working at this busy city intersection, the 6th grade teacher has had his toes run over and his knees brushed by the occasional passing car.

“We have a lot of speeding, unfortunately, going on here,” Brite said. “The kids have to make sure that they look twice before they step off that curb.”

But he’s always maintained a good sense of humor.

“If you dress like that next year, you’ll get A’s all the time,” Brite tells a student.

The “America’s Favorite Crossing Guard” competition is being held by the nonprofit Safe Kids Worldwide. Mr. Brite is up against 169 others from across the country – and the winning school will receive $10,000.

Voting is open until the end of the vote. People can vote for Mr. Brite by heading to http://wshe.es/4eicW2L1.

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