Pupil transporters in several areas of Missouri had a productive discussion during School Bus Safety Week about working as a team to bolster student safety, and students engaged in fun bus safety activities thanks to the efforts of Gina Crump, creator of the "Respect the Ride" bus safety program.
As SBF previously reported, Crump planned to hold a workshop for bus drivers and transportation directors to share ideas and celebrate the role that school bus drivers play in the school community, as well as host bus safety assemblies for Willard R-2 School District.
Crump told SBF this week that both events were successful.
“We had five districts represented at our school bus driver workshop, with a lot of good ideas being shared for approaching school bus safety as a team. For example, Clever R-V School District Transportation Director John Cackley suggested that parents could volunteer to serve as bus sponsors in an effort to support the bus driver and his or her students,” Crump said. “Nixa R-2 School District Transportation Director Donna Collins reported that one of her drivers makes the extra effort to send a bus newsletter home to parents about what's happening on his bus.”
Crump’s assemblies for Willard R-2 School District included students in kindergarten through second grade, as Transportation Director Forrest Owens wanted the district’s students to start practicing good bus safety habits as early as possible.
“My goal was to make the assemblies interactive and fun so that the kids would be motivated to do their part in making the bus ride a safe one for everyone,” Crump said. “District driver Julie Gugel was pushed into the gym in an actual driver's seat on wheels. We discussed with the students her responsibilities while behind the wheel and how drivers are affected by their students' behavior on the bus, such as being distracted by loud voices.”
Also during the assemblies, student volunteers demonstrated the correct way to sit and behave while on a bus passenger seat that was brought into the gym. Safety skills that students learned were reviewed during a bus safety dance.
“This was a fun way to involve teachers, students and the principal,” Crump said.