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The ‘Walking Bus’ Program Gets Kids Moving

It’s an old adage that has survived for generations: Everyone’s parents and grandparents had to walk to school – in the snow, mind you. Most of us have gotten the guilt trip from somebody. Well, the sentiment may no longer be legitimately prefaced with “back in our day…”. That’s because if a new trend catches fire, it will make sure that kids have it the same way their parents did.

It’s called the “Walking School Bus,” a program where kids walk to school in groups along specified routes, picking up classmates along the way. It’s not only great for saving gas, but kids get a little exercise along the way. And oh, adults are along for the ride to assuage worried parents.

Only 13 percent of kids walk to school these days. That’s down dramatically from 30 years ago, when 66 percent of kids walked.

From a public policy perspective, this is a great idea because it can save a lot of money in gas and maintenance expenses related to buses. One school district using the idea spends a mere $200 a year on the program. Just think how much that saves in gas alone!

Here’s a video report on the Walking School Bus program from CBS News.

And if you’re involved with your public school system and want to take action, here’s a site that gives you more information and outlines the benefits of starting a Walking School Bus program in your area, and the points to consider before launching it.

October 16th, 2008

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