Get on the Walking School Bus!
What’s yellow, has windows, and takes students to school? If you’re thinking a school bus, you are correct. However, this school bus does not run on gasoline with a motorized engine. It is powered by the feet of the students on the Walking School Bus! Walking school buses are groups of children who walk designated routes with adult supervision to and from school. There are many ways to “drive” a walking school bus. In some communities, students are picked up along the route, whereas in others, students meet at a central point.
As an initiative of the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program, the community stakeholders of Ginter Park Elementary School partnered with Fit4Kids and the Richmond City Health District to launch the Walking School Bus! A total of 12 students participated on the official launch day, September 11th. After being greeted by a smiling face in an iconic SRTS blue vest and a sticker, the students quickly learned just how cool it is to walk to school! Do you know?
According to The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, children and adolescents should get at least 1 hour of physical activity per day. Walking to school is a fun and efficient way to be physically active before the school day starts! It helps students develop long-term healthy habits and a sense of independence. In addition to this, children learn important pedestrian safety skills to carry with them in the future. Despite the fact that we do not have walking school buses at every school, our SRTS blue-vesters greet walkers and bicyclers with a sticker and a smile once a week! We have seven participating elementary schools: Fairfield, Woodville, Chimborazo, Oak Grove-Bellemeade, Mary Munford, Ginter Park, and JEB Stuart. Walking to school improves health and strengthens communities. We look forward to International Walk to School Day on October 4th!