As Valentine’s Day draws near, so too does a newer, lesser known celebration of affection: "Love the Bus."
The campaign, which began last year, seeks to recognize the hundreds of thousands of men and women who safely drive more than 25 million children to and from school each day.
The American School Bus Council is encouraging school districts and contractors across the country to hold events on or around Valentine’s Day to honor their drivers and promote their good work to the public.
The campaign’s Website, www.lovethebus.com, offers a number of resources, including a toolkit for educators and an application in which children can create Valentine’s cards for their drivers.
Suggestions for Love the Bus events include:
Provide breakfast for drivers as they finish their last morning route and arrive at school.
Provide lunch for drivers as they arrive for their first afternoon route.
Invite an elected official who might not be aware of the safety record of school buses.
Make name tags for the event (available at the Love the Bus Website).
Invite principals and teachers to participate in the event.
Provide some sort of containers (possibly decorated by students) for drivers to put their Valentine’s cards in.
Provide blank Valentine’s cards for students to fill out at the event if they are not able to do so ahead of time.
Use Love the Bus artwork to have a custom cake made for the event.
Present certificates, plaques, T-shirts, etc. to drivers. Recognize long-serving drivers.
Purchase magnetic lips that students can plant on a bus during the event. If the bus is going out on a route afterward, allow time for the magnets to be removed.
Issue a press release before the event to alert the media.
Report on the event on your local Website. See an example here.