Eastside school launches a 'walking school bus'




Posted on March 4, 2011 at 9:50 AM

Updated Friday, Mar 4 at 9:51 AM

REDMOND, Wash. – A Redmond elementary school is attempting to buck a growing trend on how parents are getting their children to school these days.

According to a recently released National Household Travel survey, more parents are driving their kids to school even though they live less than two miles away

That has caused some problems at Redmond’s Mann Elementary School.

School administrators said they were having a serious problem with too many parents were driving their kids to school.

Traffic and tardiness was becoming an issue and this school said enough is enough. Traffic wraps around the block at the start of school. A big reason why – there are so many cars on 104th Street because Mann Elementary School sits between a high school and a junior high.

This school year, the school started what they call a "walking school bus."

Parent volunteers walk a group of students to and from school everyday -- rain or shine. Each neighborhood is split into groups. The parent volunteers pick a meeting point and time, students meet there and they all walk to school together. This way parents do not have to drive their children to school.

"The traffic gets so bad out here my 5 minute drive would actually be 20 minutes. We walk even if it's raining my kids prefer walking now. They actually get mad at me if I drive to pick them up after school," said Jodi Miller, a parent.

"It's really fun. It's like P.E. in the morning except you get to talk with friends and it's like outside, "said A.J. Joseph, a 5th grade student

 School administrators said they're already seeing results; Tardiness is down, the children are getting increased exercise and they’re seeing an increase in students being more focused and ready for school.