Walking School Buses
- Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2000 09:15:13 -0400
From: "Lanyon, Ryan" <lanyonry@...>
Subject: RE: Walking School Buses
I'm almost positive that walking school buses have been successful in
Toronto. For more information, see:
http://www.greenestcity.org [Click ASTRS and then Walking School Bus]
The Canadian delivery agent for the Active and Safe Routes to School program
is Go for Green at:
They would know of any other Canadian examples.
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> Sent: Thursday, September 21, 2000 5:11 PM
> To: CarFree@egroups.com
> Subject: [CarFree] Walking School Buses
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> Three local elementary schools are considering busing kids short
> distances (less than one mile) instead of letting them walk. Parents
> have complained about the danger of the kids walking due to traffic
> and possible "abduction." Instead of trying to make the streets
> safer for walking, they want to put the kids inside buses, thereby
> adding yet another vechile to the growing traffic.
> As an alternative to school buses, I'm trying to persuade at least
> one of the school principals to try walking buses. With a walking
> bus, an adult volunteer walks a set route through the neighborhood,
> picks up kids along the way, delivers them safely to school, and then
> walks home with them at the end of the day.
> This is a completely new idea for school officials here. To try to
> persuade them it's a good idea, I'm trying to find examples of cities
> where walking school buses have worked. If you know of examples,
> please let me know.
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Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2000 17:46:07 -0700
From: Karen Sandness <ksand@...>
Subject: Re: walking school buses
>Message: 6Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2000 21:11:04 -0000
Subject: Walking School Buses
>Three local elementary schools are considering busing kids shortI honestly think that there are too many paranoid parents out there.
>distances (less than one mile) instead of letting them walk. Parents
>have complained about the danger of the kids walking due to traffic
>and possible "abduction." Instead of trying to make the streets
>safer for walking, they want to put the kids inside buses, thereby
>adding yet another vechile to the growing traffic.
Abduction of children by strangers (as opposed to parents in custody
disputes) is extremely rare, which is why it makes the national news,
unlike children killed in car crashes, an everyday occurrence all over
Try enlisting the aid of your local pediatricians. If they're in touch
with the current research, they know that childhood obesity is a huge
problem, especially in the U.S. In fact, a child is much, much more
likely to develop health problems through lack of exercise than to be
abducted by *anybody.*
Back in the "olden days," (late 1950s) I didn't walk five miles to
school through waist-deep snow :-), but I did walk five blocks in the
morning, five blocks home at lunch, five blocks back in the afternoon,
and five blocks home at three o'clock. In other words, I had a
twenty-block walk automatically programmed into my weekdays.
Neighborhood parents organized it so that older children shepherded
younger children, and the "safety patrol" (sixth-graders with white
shoulder belts) made sure that children crossed the busy streets near
the school safely.
My class pictures from that era show no grossly overweight children,
only one boy who was slightly plump. But then, he lived very close to
the school, and his mother was from France, so perhaps he was putting
away a lot of calories and getting less exercise than the rest of us :-).
I also don't remember any hyperactive kids, but we did have kids who
*ran* both ways between home and school. Maybe they were able to burn
off enough nervous energy on those trips to allow them to sit reasonably
still in class. (My mother, who taught kindergarten in a variety of
settings, noted that *all* children were hyper to a greater or lesser
degree when they came off a long school bus ride with other energetic
So try persuading your local school board that walking to school is
definitely good for the children's health and may be effective in
decreasing behavior problems.
If the kids learn how to be car-free in one area of their lives, that's
just icing on the cake.