Eirene Farias, a bus driver for Brewster (N.Y.) Central School District, decorates safety vests for her coworkers. Shown here are some of her designs. Photo courtesy Brewster Central School District

Eirene Farias, a bus driver for Brewster (N.Y.) Central School District, decorates safety vests for her coworkers. Shown here are some of her designs. Photo courtesy Brewster Central School District

BREWSTER, N.Y. — A school bus driver here turned what had been an unpopular requirement among her fellow staff members into a fun activity that engages her coworkers and students.

Brewster Central School District transportation staff members have often told Mary Smith, the supervisor of transportation, that they feel uncomfortable wearing the yellow reflective vests, which became required several years ago to make staff members more visible while they were in the bus yard, according to an article on the district’s website.  

Eirene Farias, a bus driver for the district, said that she doesn’t like “when people do nothing but complain” and decided to “embrace” her vest. She had recently become skilled at using Cricut, a die-cutting machine often used for crafting, while making decorations for her daughter’s wedding, according to the district. Farias applied her artistic talent to personalizing her vest, and soon after, the “Embrace the Vest” campaign emerged. Since the end of last school year, Farias has decorated the vests of more than a dozen transportation staff members with a variety of logos and designs.

Smith said in the district’s article that in addition to boosting morale, the campaign has also created some excitement for the students. Farias added that “The designs make students realize their driver is a real person … it sparks a conversation and they behave better.”

Read the school district’s full article on Farias the “Vest Fairy” here.

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