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 (48)
  • SavannahM-3
    5/28/2014 - 07:14 p.m.

    This article is about students that rather take the "walking school bus". This article talks about students that have decided to walk with a bunch of their friends home rather than taking the bus home. The students hold hands and play games like "I Spy" which keeps them busy on their walk home. The program has gotten so big now there is a waiting list for students to join. I thought this article was very interesting because it is always good to have a little exercise each day even if that means walking home it keeps us healthy.

  • CieraGreenQ4
    5/29/2014 - 04:45 p.m.

    That's really cool that they are starting to make a walking bus!.! That great that they are starting to try to get kids to exercise more and stop obesity! I think its a great idea! That amazing cause it builds friendships and make the people that are walking in the walking school bus become close and nicer to one another!

  • SamanthaI-1
    5/29/2014 - 07:55 p.m.

    This year a group of children from Rhode Island and Iowa are starting a new trend. The children and a school volunteer are picking up kids from their houses and all of them get to walk to school together. The children all hold hands and are creating good habits when crossing the street. This new transportation idea is helping childhood obesity, safety and better attendance records. This article was interesting because it is such a simple way to exercise and you can also talk to your friends. This will definitely be a positive addition to schools

  • ArianaB-1
    5/30/2014 - 09:36 a.m.

    In Providence,Rhode Island surveys showed that kids were missing up to 10 percent of the school year and decided to try to increase attendance numbers.Kids who live within one mile of the elementary school don't qualify for the bus so the school started a walking school bus.Children sign up to walk to school with their neighbors and an adult volunteer.They say that the "bus" not only helps attendance rates increase but lower child obesity at the same time.Walking promotes healthy living and the kids enjoy walking to and from school with all of their friends.I think this is a nice idea and think I've heard of the walking school bus before.

  • 9sarahe
    5/30/2014 - 10:30 a.m.

    This is a very good idea! In the morning, especially when it's cold outside and all you wanna is walk. But knowing some kids at school, some would try to skip out or walk away from the group. Or some kids may not go to the bus group walking thing. But I think that if we tried this we would have to wait outside for a long time for a bus with noisy kids on that could is rude and mean to one another.

  • ISABELLAM-ZDE
    5/31/2014 - 07:22 p.m.

    This article talks about students that have decided to walk with a bunch of their friends home rather than taking the bus home. The program has gotten so big now there is a waiting list for students to join. This article was very intriging because it is always beneficial to have a little exercise each day even if that means walking home it keeps us healthier and stronger.

  • TylaB
    5/31/2014 - 11:31 p.m.

    That's really cool that they are starting to make a walking bus!.! That great that they are starting to try to get kids to exercise more and stop obesity! I think its a great idea!

  • ABRAHAMC-ZDE
    6/01/2014 - 06:14 p.m.

    The students from Providence are bringing awareness to a national issue, child obesity. The number of children with obesity is growing very rapidly in America. Obesity is one of the largest but overlooked issues in today's society. The Walking Bus is not only a way to fight obesity but it also gives kids a chance to form friendships and have fun.

  • LEONIED-ZDE
    6/01/2014 - 08:45 p.m.

    Walking bus is a very safe way of insuring or giving parents a more relaxed mind. It also helps build relationships because the people who will walk together will have to put there trust in one another. At the same time while walking you can get to know the person samd or in the case walkimg infront or beside you.

  • SAMANTHAB-ZDE
    6/01/2014 - 10:25 p.m.

    "The Walking Bus" is an innovative way to help cut down on pollution and child obesity, killing two birds with one stone. "The Walking Bus" has many benefits to the students and school. The students are able to learn the importance of school and education by being gently enforced to attend school everyday. These students can also learn about communication with adults and children outside of a school environment. "The Walking Bus" also saves the school money by not needing to provide more school buses to transport the students, the money saved can also go right back into the students' educations and after-school activities.

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