As school budgets get tighter, administrators are doing just about everything to cut costs, including diminishing some of the necessities like teachers’ salaries, library book funds, and even school buses.
Although diminishing school budgets is not exactly good news, some positive results may come out of the cuts. If the budget in your school district leaves hardly any room for school buses and your neighborhood is the first to get the axe, consider starting up a “Walking School Bus” in your community.
A Walking School Bus is a new initiative created by the Healthways/ Blue Zones Vitality City group in the Beach Cities area in Southern California. The Healthways/ Blue Zones group is dedicated to help their communities live longer and healthier.
Walking school buses are a group of children who ride their bikes or walk to school with one or more parent supervising. Children learn the rules of traffic in a safe environment and get plenty of exercise on their way to and from school each morning. As childhood obesity rates continue to increase, a walking school bus might be a good way to sneak some exercise into your child’s routine.
“Studies have shown that kids who walk to and from school are not only healthier, but have higher grade point averages than those who don’t,” said Veronica Flores, Healthways/ Blue Zones Vitality City Manager. “Through the Vitality City initiative, a community-wide well-being improvement initiative in the beach cities region of Los Angeles, we are implementing a Walking School Bus program as a great way for kids to enjoy a safe, chaperoned walk to school while getting active and socializing with their friends and adults.”
The Healthways/ Blue Zones Vitality City website has information on safety guidelines, Beach Cities safe routes for walking school buses, and success stories from other programs around the country. So join the fun and start a Walking School Bus in your community!