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Walking School Bus Program Helps Keep Springfield Public School Students Safe

The Walking School Bus program started last spring for kids in Springfield Public Schools.  Alicia Davis, a graduate student in health and wellness at Missouri State University and the program’s coordinator at MSU, says kids in grades K thru 5th can take part in the program that’s used within a one mile radius of schools.

Five Springfield schools have implemented the program—Delaware, Rountree, Weaver, Jeffries and Williams.  

Davis says it’s designed to reduce traffic around school, to cut down on pollution and to get kids more active. 

She says the Walking School Bus program can help keep kids safe and give parents peace of mind…

"Especially with some of the bigger streets that are located around Rountree, especially, and Weaver and a couple of other of those, it is a good program because they know that someone who has been trained is going to be walking with their children and that they're going to get to school--to and from--safely." 

Here’s how the Walking School Bus program works:  volunteers arrive at school about 50 minutes before class starts and about 50 minutes before school ends.  They don reflective vests, grab vests for the children and a first aid kit.  About 30 minutes before the start of school they start picking up kids at their houses and when school lets out they walk them home.

There’s a need for volunteers for the program, which has about 10-15 kids per school.  Davis says they need at least one volunteer per 10 students…

"We would like to see at least five to ten volunteers per school, would be ideal.  That way each person who volunteers doesn't have to do every day.  They can kind of pick a day that works best for them and do one day during the week." 

She says there’s a significant need for volunteers.  One hour training sessions are going on now.  They are planned for August 30th at 9 am, September 1st at 5:30 pm, September 7th at 6:30 pm and September 10th at 9 am at Jordan Valley Community Health Center.  All volunteers are required to complete a background screening, and forms will be available at the training sessions.

To find out more, call 523-1634 or email Davis at

For KSMU News, I’m Michele Skalicky.