A walking school bus (WSB) creates a safe and social journey to school and is just like a school bus except this requires a caregiver to walk to school each day on a specific route with groups of children. The WSB collects children from a few dedicated stops along a planned route to school, ending at the church steps in good time for the children to start their day.
There are many advantages to a WSB:
- provides a more connected community and some great friends for both parents and children
- helps reduce traffic congestion around the school gates with fewer cars on the road
- it’s a great start to the day and the exercise before school boosts concentration.
Auckland Transport takes an active role in supporting the WSB groups from setting up the walking bus, showing safe routes to your school and providing funding for rewards and incentives throughout the year. They also support the WSB and provide guidelines for walkers around children’s behaviour, which the children pledge to follow, and an adult to child ratio. If each caregiver commits to walking one day a week to school (you walk 1 day, your child can walk up to 5 days) the supervision is shared, the ratios are usually met and everyone benefits!
Please let us know if you are interested in joining one of our existing WSBs or setting up a new one. The office can also put you in contact with a current parent volunteer to discuss how it all works.
You can also find more information on walking school buses at the Auckland Transport website https://at.govt.nz/cycling- walking/school-travel/walking- school-bus/
The Link Between Kids Who Walk to School and Concentration
“The process of getting yourself from point A to point B has cognitive effects and there is a deep connection between the way we move our bodies and the way our minds work. A 2013 Danish study found that kids who walked to school performed measurably better on tasks demanding concentration, such as solving puzzles, and that the effects lasted for up to four hours after they got to school.”