Gone are the days when people like my grandparents walked 10 miles to school, barefoot through a raging blizzard, uphill both ways. The school bus did away with all that. Then budget cuts did away with the school bus, but parents didn’t want their kids walking to school on their own, raging blizzard or not. At Bagby Elementary School, the solution was a combination of old and new. One parent, Christie Styer, founded the “walking school bus” program, which they call “Bagby Walk and Roll.”
With the support of Principal Kathy Kimpel, 20 students make the trek to school together, with adult supervision. Sure, there are no raging blizzards, the kids are encouraged to wear shoes, and the most that they encounter is a gentle slope, but the 15-minute walk is a great way to promote physical activity, and it encouraged the parents and kids to get to know one another better.
Kimpel has seen a dramatic change in the students since the walking school bus was first implemented. She calls it a lifestyle change, and notes that it helps to reduce the number of cars and cuts down on greenhouse gas emissions.
Kimpel was so pleased with the program that she elected to join the group on one of their walks. So did Cambrian School District Superintendent Deborah Blow, and some other local figures too, including Mayor Chuck Reed, Councilmember Pierluigi Oliverio, and Police Chief Rob Davis. This could give the kids some great stories to tell their own grandchildren sixty years from now or so. “When I used to walk to school, the mayor and the police chief walked with us …”
Read More at ABC 7.