Students from Gallagher Middle School and McCabe Elementary School have recently begun a new fitness initiative that promotes exercise and the need for more walkable communities.
"Walking School Bus" is a small group of neighborhood students accompanied by one or more adults on their walk to school that mimics the way a regular school bus picks up students along a route. Members of the Smithfield Police and Fire Departments have partnered with both schools to kick off the program by "driving" the buses from three locations on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings to walk with students (and parents if they are interested) to school. According to the Gallagher School website, walking buses only travel to school because many children participate in after-school activities.
The first buses departed on Tuesday, Dec. 11 and Wednesday, Dec. 12 at 7:15 a.m. from Greenville Library, Barnes St. @ Putnam Pk. and Pleasant View Ave. @ McArthur Dr. and will resume their routes on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings after winter break.
The Walking School Bus program is a healthy community initiative under Safe Routes to School, supported by the Audubon Society of Rhode Island that strives to promote walking to school while increasing the safety and ease for those who already do.
According to Walking School Bus RI, the program also benefits health and well being, a sense of community within participating neighborhoods and increased safety and awareness, as well as a reduction in traffic and auto emissions.
See the attached PDF for the Gallagher Walking Bus schedule; the McCabe schedule was recently sent home with students.
For more information, visit http://www.walkingschoolbus.org/ or click here to visit the Walking School Bus RI Facebook page.