By: Mission Healthy Living
August 03, 2015
The wheels on the bus are actually feet and instead of going round and round, they’ll put one foot in front of the other — at least on the Pottstown Area School District’s (PASD) new walking bus they will!
Beginning Oct. 7, students from PASD’s Rupert Elementary School will take this new walking school bus to school every day, five days a week, in the mornings only. The “bus” will feature trained volunteers as the “drivers” who will walk students to school in order to get them up and moving before they start the day and provide a safe route to school. Befittingly, the launch of this initiative just so happens to be on International Walk to School Day, according to a July 28 Mercury article.
Students who live within 1.5 miles of their schools do not get bussed and often walk to school each day. The Mercury reported the program is starting at Rupert due to the increased amount of students who have to walk the furthest distances to school due to the closing of Edgewood Elementary school in 2013. Also noted is that as a result of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s decision which determined High Street was not a hazardous roadway, the district is no longer required to bus its students across it.
Volunteers will spend about an hour of their time each morning (30 minutes to take the kids to school and 30 minutes back) and are encouraged to sign up if they are interested in being more active or perhaps even fulfill a worksite wellness program initiative through their employer. A minimum of four volunteers will be needed for each of the four pre-determined routes to Rupert Elementary. The walking bus will be in effect until January and February, when the program will be evaluated, and then resume in March, running until the end of the school year, according to The Mercury.
This initiative would be great for local businesses who are urged to encourage their employees to participate. What better way to start your morning than helping to get local kids off to school as a member of a community dedicated to improving the health and wellness of its area.
If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a walking bus volunteer, please contact David Genova, the district’s wellness coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or give him a call at 610-763-1466.