Joplin (Mo.) Schools held its inaugural School Bus Camp on Saturday to highlight the importance of school bus safety for students and parents. Photo courtesy Justin Crawford

Joplin (Mo.) Schools held its inaugural School Bus Camp on Saturday to highlight the importance of school bus safety for students and parents. Photo courtesy Justin Crawford

JOPLIN, Mo. — Joplin Schools held its inaugural School Bus Camp on Saturday to highlight the importance of school bus safety for students and parents.

A total of 193 kindergartners and parents attended the camp, which was hosted by more than 30 of the district’s transportation staff members, Mike Bevis, director of transportation for Joplin Schools, told School Bus Fleet.

“Our goal for the School Bus Camp was to enhance safety for students, especially for kindergartners,” Bevis said. “Some of these students have never rode a bus or been near a bus so we wanted to give them a good, friendly, and fun experience so they can look forward to getting on the bus the first day of school.”

Eloise O’Reilly, a driver and trainer for the district, told SBF that she initially had the idea for the single-day event after attending a statewide driver-trainer certification conference in July 2018.

“I figured the camp would be a fun way for the students to learn rather than like a classroom setting,” O’Reilly said. “They can have fun learning, but also know what they’re supposed to do while on the bus at the same time.”

In addition to learning tips about school bus safety, O’Reilly said students and parents had the chance to apply what they learned during a short school bus ride. Other activities included games, a presentation from Operation Lifesaver about railroad safety, and an emergency bus evacuation training led by Joplin Fire Department.

O’Reilly added that next year Joplin Schools plans to continue its School Bus Camp with hopes of including the district’s first grade students. She also said that the district plans to expand the camp by partnering with neighboring districts that may be interested in offering the event to their students.

View photos of this year’s School Bus Camp, posted on Joplin Schools’ Facebook page, below.

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