Larry Leverton took a job driving school buses in 1957 after a layoff. Known for his dedication, he doesn’t plan to quit anytime soon.
HIGH POINT, N.C. — U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx will speak to a group of elementary school students at the American School Bus Council (ASBC)’s Love the Bus main event here on Friday.
The event will be held at Oak Hill Elementary School. Ashton Wheeler Clemmons, principal of the school, emphasized the important role that school buses play in the lives of American children.
“Our promise as a country that all children have the possibility of future success depends on an equitable education system,” Clemmons said. “School buses are an integral part to that promise, ensuring that no matter what neighborhood, you have the ability to board the bus and ride to your better future."
At the Love the Bus main event, first-, fourth- and fifth-graders, along with a group of special-needs students who use the school bus, will hear from Foxx; U.S. Congressman Howard Coble of North Carolina; Carlas McCauley, director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of School Improvement Grants; Guilford County (N.C.) Schools Superintendent Mo Green; and High Point Mayor Bernita Sims. The speakers will talk to the students about being respectful to their bus drivers and appreciating the safety, environmental, congestion mitigation and access-to-education benefits of the yellow school bus.
Foxx will share the stage with Oak Hill first-graders, who will perform an interpretation of the children’s book Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, and a group of fourth- and fifth-graders will perform a song on their recorders.
ASBC officials said that Oak Hill is an ideal host for Love the Bus, not just because the school’s students are heavily reliant upon the school bus for their transportation to and from school. In addition, Oak Hill has transformed itself from consistently rating as one of the lowest performing Title 1 elementary schools in North Carolina to being honored as the highest performing Title 1 school in North Carolina for the 2012-13 school year.
The school bus has been woven into lesson plans at Oak Hill this month, and the school’s auditorium will feature bright yellow school bus murals created by students in their art classes.
Students, teachers and administrators around the country have access to free downloads of a variety of Love the Bus materials at LoveTheBus.com, including an educator’s toolkit for crafting bus-specific lesson plans, Love the Bus T-shirt templates and bumper magnets.
“The yellow school bus provides safe, reliable energy-efficient transportation that ensures high attendance, which is a linchpin of higher achievement by students,” National Association for Pupil Transportation President Don Carnahan said. “Everyone who wants kids to succeed should ‘Love the Bus.’”
Dale Wendell, chief commercial officer at Blue Bird, added, “The importance of the yellow school bus in a child’s life is tremendous. … Love the Bus is the perfect way to show our appreciation and thank school bus drivers for providing children with access to an education.”
For more information about other Love the Bus events around the country, or for assistance with planning additional events or procuring ASBC marketing materials, contact ASBC at (866) 955-2722 or go to www.americanschoolbuscouncil.com.
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