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

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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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Assigned 10 times

    6/02/2014 - 12:48 p.m.

    A walking bus? It seems to be a fun game to play while walking home form school holding hands and playing a fun game "walking " bus.

  • JackieBlueQ4
    6/03/2014 - 02:48 p.m.

    The walking bus build relationships because they have time to get to know each other and to get along and be friends with each other. I think "The Walking Bus" is A good idea and more schools should do that.

    6/03/2014 - 07:54 p.m.

    "The Walking Bus" aids children in many ways such as improving attendance rates, helping with obesity, and cutting back on pollution. "The Walking Bus" aids much more than the children though, it cuts down on the needs for busses so the county saves more money on one hand and the students parents know the children are arriving to school on time and safe. The students are able to learn the importance of school and education in general by being supported to attend school on a regular basis.

    6/03/2014 - 10:37 p.m.

    This students are leading a good cause. Lowing the use of fossil fuels is a must if not it could lead to the end of us all. Fossil fuels are destroying the environment and the planet in general. This kids are at least lowering it a bit.

    6/04/2014 - 07:18 p.m.

    The walking "bus" is most definitely a delightful idea. This promotes safety, helps students be friendly towards each other, and come to school more often. The walking "bus" also helps with obesity which is a increasing problem in our society.

    6/04/2014 - 09:15 p.m.

    This idea solves many problems we have at schools in many neigborhoods. This "walking schoolbus" prevents problems like fighting and discourages kid nappers. This can also start friendships and life long relationships. This is also a way to ensure kids dont skip school and miss out on a free education.

    6/04/2014 - 09:19 p.m.

    This program is really great for kids to do at such a young age, it teaches them to stay fit and get to school on time all while hanging out and playing with their friends. It's true that some kids don't feel safe going to school by themselves so this is a good way for them to feel safe with an adult volunteer and a bunch or their classmates. Child obesity is getting worse in America and this walking "bus" probably really helps.

  • 40175
    6/05/2014 - 12:03 p.m.

    This is a great idea, but our school is too far from most houses. I live 30 minutes away from school, and it would probably take more than an hour to walk to school. My school starts at 7:00 and it wouldn't be safe for us to walk during pitch black darkness. Although this idea would cut down on child obesity, and school spending, most kids have after school sports, and you don't want them to be tired from walking when they go to it.

  • 34303
    6/05/2014 - 12:12 p.m.

    It's great that people are walking instead of taking the bus. Not only does it go against obesity, but it also builds relationships. Walking to school together is full of time to have conversations with others. Kids can't exactly use their phones or read a book while walking, unlike on the bus. Kids can play games and talk to pass the time.

  • AnnabellC723
    6/09/2014 - 09:06 a.m.

    This is a great way to stop child obesity and fights on the bus. Now they have a adult with them and people can talk to their friends and be safe.It can build relationships because people are getting closer to each other than they used to be on the bus.

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