The Maine Walking School Bus (WSB) Program is very pleased to announce that the Downeast School in Bangor and the Albert S. Hall School in Waterville are the two latest recipients of grants to start daily walking school bus programs in their communities. The 2-year grant will provide a stipend for a WSB program coordinator who will be based in each school and receive ongoing technical assistance from WSB Program staff.
Both schools scored very highly on their WSB Program applications submitted this past fall – and during their site visit meetings and route review walks in December. The two communities have participated in Safe Routes to School activities in the past – for example, holding walk to school events and conducting bicycle and pedestrian safety education. These help foster a successful Walking School Bus Program.
School principal, Al Mooers, said, “The Downeast School is excited to be able to offer our students a safe, fun and organized way to walk to school and community members are eager to be a part of this program. Together we can organize and implement a Walking School Bus program which will benefit students, parents, the community and the school”
The schools recently held their WSB program community workshops and we were very impressed by the extent of community support and enthusiasm for the program shown by participants.
Both WSB programs are due to launch in the spring. They join the three schools currently running WSB programs as part of the state-wide program: Portland’s East End Community School, Norway’s Guy E Rowe Elementary School, and the Ellsworth Elementary Middle School.
The Maine Walking School Bus Program is funded by a grant from the Maine Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and is administered by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine and the Maine Safe Routes to School Program. The program also partners with the Maine Department of Transportation. Interested communities will have another chance to apply to the program in Fall 2016. For more information please sign up for our e-mail newsletter in the right sidebar.