WILMINGTON, MA — The Woburn Street School successfully piloted a “walking school bus” last Wednesday, June 7.
A group of students met up on Marcia Road (some dropped off by parents, stopped dropped off by bus) and walked together school with approximately 10 school staff members, accompanied by Wilmington Police Officers and surrounded by police cruisers. This safe route took approximately 8-12 minutes to walk.
Organizer and Physical Education teacher Laura Stinson classified the pilot as a “huge success,” noting the “children and staff had a wonderful time walking together with the Wilmington Police Department.” Students received both a positive social experience and some physical activity.
“I want to extend my sincere appreciation to the Woburn Street School families who enthusiastically allowed their children to participate in this event,” said Stinson. “I would also like to thank the Wilmington School Committee and the Wilmington Police Department for their support with this activity.”
When Safety Officer Brian Moon asked the children who would like to do this activity again, the children responded with a resounding cheer.
“The walking school bus was such a blast and I would love to do it again, but – sadly – I will be going to the North,” said one third grader. “But I was lucky since I got to do it this year. I encourage you to do this yearly with 2 or 4 buses.”
Stinson hopes to eventually expand the walking school bus program district-wide, but suspects it may take a full school year before implementation. Ultimately, she envisions at least one fall walk day and one spring walk day per school. Stinson anticipates beginning to work on a comprehensive action plan to achieve this goal beginning in the fall. The plan would include a parent survey to gauge interest, as well as route mapping, with assistance from the Massachusetts Safe Routes to School organization.
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