As we put the finishing touches on this issue of SCHOOL BUS FLEET, the month of February had just drawn to a close. With it came the conclusion of the second annual edition of “Love the Bus.”
For anyone who’s not yet familiar with this campaign: The American School Bus Council (ASBC) launched Love the Bus last year to honor the men and women who safely transport millions of children every school day.
The program is also intended to increase the public’s awareness of just how safe and effi cient school bus transportation is.
As you may have guessed, many Love the Bus events are tied into, and held on, Valentine’s Day. But the ASBC deemed all of February Love the Bus Month.
Among the Love the Bus efforts that we heard about this year, perhaps the most impressive was the statewide showing in North Carolina.
If you saw the photo and caption at the bottom of pg. 11 in this issue, you learned about the Edenton-Chowan Schools students making Valentine’s cards for their drivers, reviewing safety procedures and sharing cake.
That was just one of many ways that North Carolina showed appreciation for its school bus drivers. Here are some other highlights:
The Catawba County Schools transportation department gave school bus pencils and T-shirts, which were provided by the state Department of Public Instruction (DPI), to elementary schools. Kindergartners signed the shirts and presented them to senior bus drivers. Also, transportation staffers gave candy and certifi cates of appreciation to drivers.
Cabarrus County Schools celebrated with a Buster the School Bus appearance at a local elementary school, courtesy of the DPI. Buster even got his picture in the newspaper. Additionally, breakfast was served for drivers.
In Wilson County, bus drivers and Director of Transportation Jim Lewis appeared on the local television station. Lewis told viewers about the drivers’ dedication to the children they transport. The group also described the requirements for becoming a bus driver and informed the public how to help make children’s travel to and from school safer.
To read more about North Carolina’s Love the Bus events, go to http://itre.ncsu.edu/ghsp/Archives/archiveLoveTheBus08.html. All aboard
If your school bus operation has yet to hold a Love the Bus event, I encourage you to jump on the bandwagon next year.
Whenever you’re ready to start planning for February 2009, head to www.lovethebus.com. There, you’ll find several tools designed for the endeavor.
The site includes a program that lets students and teachers create cards for drivers. Also available are templates for name tags, bus magnets, T-shirts, certificates and more.
The ASBC also unveiled a new toolkit to help school transportation personnel in advocating safety. The kit, available at www.americanschoolbuscouncil.org under “Take Action,” includes fact sheets, a children’s book and coloring pages.
There’s always more we can do to promote our industry and recognize our drivers. Love the Bus is a great way to concentrate our efforts.