ARLINGTON, Va. — Federal dignitaries joined elementary school students here on Tuesday to celebrate the yellow school bus and its vital role in education.

The gathering at Tuckahoe Elementary School in Arlington was the American School Bus Council’s main event for Love the Bus 2015.

Dr. Mark Rosekind, the new administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, spoke on the safety benefits of the school bus. He connected with the crowd of about 170 kids, asking them to tell him about school bus rules and their favorite things about riding the bus.

Christopher Grundler, director of the U.S. EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality, discussed the yellow bus’ environmental benefits. He noted that Arlington Public Schools is one of this year’s recipients of EPA rebates to replace older school buses with new, cleaner models.

The students also got to show their love for the bus. Pre-K kids sang a lively rendition of "The Wheels on the Bus" with a large cutout of an Arlington Public Schools bus. Students at the event wore yellow “I Love the Bus” T-shirts, and a variety of school bus artwork was on display.

Arlington Superintendent Dr. Patrick Murphy talked about the important work that school bus drivers carry out. He presented certificates of recognition to two of the district's school bus staff members, driver Fernando Rivas and monitor Nakia Arnold, for their dedication and safety records.

Also on hand were officials from the American School Bus Council’s member organizations: NAPT, NSTA, NASDPTS, Blue Bird, IC Bus and Thomas Built Buses.

Love the Bus events, typically scheduled around Valentine’s Day, will continue to be held at pupil transportation operations across the nation.

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