Roosevelt Elementary School in Manville is springing into safety with its monthly Walking School Bus, helping students travel safely to school while also having fun.
Every month for the past six years, Roosevelt School’s physical education teacher, George Putvinski, leads around 80 students to school with the help of Principal Alicia Mathewson and other staff members. “Mr. Putvinski is the lead champion on this project,” Mathewson explained. “During our walking school bus events, we talk to students about pedestrian and bike safety, in addition to safely crossing at the train tracks in town.”
Students begin to gather at one of three starting locations throughout town, and then walk a mile to school in groups led by Putvinski, Mathewson, and several teachers. Some students even bike, scooter, or skateboard. Those who participate in the walking school bus receive a ticket that they can exchange for a swag bag, which include stickers, bracelets, reflectors, and RideWise slingbags. Students can also utilize Roosevelt School’s free breakfast program once they arrive at school.
Walking school bus days aren’t just about teaching students pedestrian safety – they’re also a fun way to start the day before school: “Our monthly walking school bus is usually tied to dress-down theme days, where students and staff celebrate being part of the community” while dressing up to fit the day’s theme, Mathewson said. As the walking school bus strolls its way through town, the smiling faces of students reflect the benefits of walking to school. Students arrive at school happy, healthy, and eager to learn.
RideWise helps organize Walking School Buses with schools throughout Somerset County. If you’d like to organize a walking school bus, call us at 908-704-1011 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.