What is a Walking School Bus?
Simply put, a walking school bus (or WSB) is a group of students walking to school together. Students and parents choose to meet at a park or an intersection and then walk from there, usually along the same route. Some families may walk to the meeting spot, others may drive or take transit.
A WSB can be a formal group with specific meeting spots and times or a more informal crowd of neighborhood students. For younger students, a parent or two will usually walk with the group to encourage safe behavior; in some cases, an older student may provide supervision. Some WSB groups choose one day a week or one day a month to organize, others walk every school day together.
Starting a Walking School Bus
- Check with your school to see if other families or kids are already walking to school together - maybe you could join in!
- If your school doesn't have a scheduled Walking School Bus, are there families in your neighborhood who might be interested?
- If you can't find other walkers, just start walking - even once a month! You may be the momentum that gets others excited to join.
What are some helpful tools I need to get walking to school?
Benefits of a Walking School Bus
Organizing a WSB in your neighborhood is a great way to get more students walking to school. The chance to socialize with friends can be a big motivator for students to get moving. With an organized schedule, it can also gives parents the opportunity to share supervision duties with other parents.
Walking to school also provides students the opportunity for physical activity. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, recommend that children and adolescents aged 6-17 years should have 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day.
And guess what else! Research indicates that students who stay active learn better in the classroom:
Need more inspiration?
SRTS has developed step-by-step instructions for creating these very cool, very popular WSB cut-outs. Have students decorate the bus or leave it school bus yellow - a fun event activity that will brighten your walk to school and make sure everyone sees you coming!