More students are taking the walking bus
More students are taking the walking bus
Lexile

As a group of children walked home together from school, they held hands. Some played the "I Spy" guessing game. When they reached a busy intersection, an adult accompanying them prodded, "What's the rule?"

"Behind the line!" they said in unison, as they stepped back from the edge of the curb and waited for the walk signal.

Shortly after, the group stopped in front of 8-year-old Jaiden Guzman's house. He said goodbye to his friends and raced to his front door. His mother waved and the rest of the walking school bus continued on its way.

For a growing number of children in Rhode Island, Iowa and other states, the school day starts and ends in the same way. They walk with their classmates and an adult volunteer to and from school. Walking school buses are catching on because they are seen as a way to fight childhood obesity, improve attendance rates and ensure that kids get to school safely.

Ten-year-old Rosanyily Laurenz signed up for the Providence walking school bus this school year. Before, she said, she was sometimes late to school when her grandmother didn't feel well enough to walk with her.

Critical thinking challenge: How does the walking bus build relationships?

But now, "I get to walk with my friends," Rosanyily said. "Plus, I get snacks."

Organizers in Providence are also motivated by high rates of chronic absenteeism. Thirty-seven percent of Providence students missed 10 percent or more of the 2010-11 school year.

The nonprofit agency Family Service of Rhode Island targeted Mary E. Fogarty Elementary School for its first walking school bus in 2012. It's located in one of the city's poorest neighborhoods. Children who live within a mile of school don't qualify for the bus.

On the walks, program manager Allyson Trenteseaux said she mends relationships among the kids, builds relationships and intervenes when there are problems. Last year, 11 of the 14 students who participated and completed a survey attended school more often.

The program now has a waiting list.

Critical thinking challenge: How does the walking bus build relationships?

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COMMENTS (47)
  • Haig123
    5/28/2014 - 11:28 a.m.

    It is a great thing to fight childhood obesity but the girl said she geets snacks. Who knows if they are healthy. I htink people will build relationships by talking alot and spending time together.

  • An678
    5/28/2014 - 11:29 a.m.

    The walking bus builds relationships because the kids talk to eachother and they usually see eachother before and after school. I don't think this could work at our school...

  • Vemulapalli
    5/28/2014 - 11:30 a.m.

    I think this is a really stunning way to travel, especially to school. You would get a lot of excercise. But all the bus drivers must have to go out of buisness so it would be hard for them to make a living

  • Drew246
    5/28/2014 - 11:31 a.m.

    Kids probably build realationships better while walking to school instead of taking the bus. I say that because they play games together, instead of just sitting on the bus quietly. They are also free to do more things like tag. On the bus tag is unacceptable.

  • galx
    5/28/2014 - 11:41 a.m.

    This is how the walking bus builds relationships. It builds relationships because then a lot of students that didn't know each other start to know each other because they are walking together

  • Lyla610
    5/28/2014 - 11:42 a.m.

    I think the walking bus builds relationships because the kids can spend time with their friends and make new ones. That is what I think.

  • Jaelee
    5/28/2014 - 11:46 a.m.

    I think the walking bus helps relationships by, letting the kids get to know each other because that is the people in their class, so that will make them have more friends. that is why i think the walking bus is a really good idea

  • caroline10000
    5/28/2014 - 11:58 a.m.

    Walking to school with help you get to know the people that go to school with you. Also it will help you remeber to not do your homework on the bus. Plus you may not miss the "walking" bus because your friends with call your name.

  • NYIAT-ZDE
    5/28/2014 - 12:57 p.m.

    Its a very good idea to walk home from school because you getting exercise and also you our getting time to talk to your friends other then in school or on the phone. Walking is also better because if you wanna lose weight riding a bus is just sitting on your behind and walking is where you get your blood bumping to move.

  • KALIANAM-ZDE
    5/28/2014 - 02:31 p.m.

    This is such an excellent notion. It seems to be a much more superior and dependable thing, because children walking home themselves are more likely to get into some sort of a dilemma. With the children watching out for each other, it's safer. It also is a way to fight childhood obesity, because instead of taking a school bus or a car to school, they can walk and score their daily exercise.

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