<p>At First Student&rsquo;s Safety Dog Bus Tour stops, students can pose for a photo with Safety Dog and take part in interactive safety activities.</p>

With a new school year beginning, school transportation provider First Student is spotlighting safe school bus behavior with its second annual Safety Dog Bus Tour.

The nationwide tour uses interactive activities to teach safe bus riding basics to elementary school students and their parents.

“Student safety is at the heart of everything we do,” First Student President Dennis Maple said. “The Safety Dog Bus Tour encourages the best possible start to the school year by engaging thousands of students and parents within the communities we serve and reinforcing valuable safety messages in a fun and memorable way.”

This year, the tour has been expanded to partner with nine school districts, including the first stop in Canada. Tour stops include:

• Buffalo (N.Y.) Public Schools
• Halton Student Transportation Services, Ontario, Canada
• New Haven (Conn.) Public Schools
• McLean County Unit District No. 5, Normal, Illinois
• Olathe (Kan.) Public Schools
• San Francisco Unified School District
• Seattle Public Schools
• Wausau (Wis.) School District
• Woodland Hills School District, North Braddock, Pennsylvania

At the tour stops, students can explore a First Student school bus; walk a yellow carpet and pose for a photo with Safety Dog, the safety mascot for First Student; sign a safety pledge; and leave with a bag of goodies.

Parents can learn about what makes school buses the safest way to transport their children to and from school.

This year, stop-arm safety will be a point of emphasis. The tour aims to remind motorists that they, too, have a key role in keeping school bus riders safe.

Tour dates, times, locations, safety tips, and downloadable activities for students and parents are available at safetydogbustour.com.

The 2016 Safety Dog Bus Tour kicks off on Aug. 16 in Olathe.

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