Daily Archives: October 6, 2012

You are here: Home » 2012 » October » 06

National Training for Coordinated Walking School Bus Programs - Coming to Maine!

November 7, 2012 in Augusta 
Register/Apply Here by Monday, October 22

Students crossing the streetThe Maine Safe Routes to School Program is thrilled to announce that the nationally-recognized Walking School Bus Program Workshop is coming to Maine next month!  Creating a Walking School Bus Program in your community is fun and completely doable – and offers community, health, and safety benefits for all.

On Wednesday, November 7, 2012 in Augusta, the national trainer for the WSB Program will deliver a comprehensive, nuts-and-bolts workshop for Maine school communities interested in starting a locally coordinated daily Walking School Bus Program.  In addition, thanks to the National Center for Safe Routes to School, the training is being provided at no cost to the communities involved – and lunch will be provided!  Mileage reimbursement is also available.

Begun in Columbia, Missouri in 2003 by the renowned PedNet organization, the Walking School Bus Program (WSB Program) has become a successful model that is now at work around the country.  The coordinated Walking School Bus Program is designed to initiate a consistent and safe system in which, on a daily basis, children can walk to and from school as a group under the supervision of trained parent and community member volunteers (i.e., via Walking School Buses).

Very popular with grade K-5 students, coordinated daily Walking School Bus Programs benefit school communities because they:

  • Increase safe passage of students already walking to and from school each day
  • Introduce additional students to walking regularly to and from school
  • Ease traffic congestion near schools during arrival and dismissal times, thereby improving safety and air quality
  • Increase students’ daily physical activity, thereby improving classroom behavior, academic performance, and health outcomes
  • Decrease demand for busing by the school district, thereby saving school district busing expenses

The hands-on WSB Program Workshop on November 7th will overview how the program works day-to-day, address liability & safety issues, outline tasks and timelines for getting the program started (including when to launch), show how to do a walking audit for prospective routes, go over marketing the program, offer practice with planning routes, and deal specifically with the concerns and issues raised by your school community.  Follow-up technical assistance will also be available for participating communities from both PedNet and the Maine Safe Routes to School Program.

Space is limited so please register and apply for the workshop hereby Monday, October 22.  If you have questions about the workshop and/or would like to discuss possibilities for your community, please contact Darcy Whittemore at saferoutes@bikemaine.org or 623-4511.