Reynoldsburg parents make travel to school safer
Buses no longer take up the space in the drive-through area of Taylor Road Elementary.
Instead, parents of Kindergarteners drive through to drop their children off at the front area while parents merge from two lanes into one for alternate drop offs of the older students from the parking area.
Reynoldsburg City Schools voted to eliminate busing for students living more than two miles from their attending schools after the failure of the May 15.6-mil levy.
"It's a hardship on everyone," said Julie Greene, a parent and Taylor Road PTO board member.
Parents like Greene are finding alternative routes throughout the district to get their children safely to school.
Along with the city, schools and Sustainable Reynoldsburg, community members Monica DeBrock and Mark Waite co-chair the local Safe Routes To School program in an effort to make Reynoldsburg students safer on their way to and from school.
Superintendent Steve Dackin said DeBrock is a good example of a community member who is vested in her community.
This national program has more than 400 non-profit organizations, government agencies, schools and professionals working together using federal funds to encourage kids to walk or bike where it is safe. They promote walking and biking to school as a fun, healthy and earth-friendly activity.
DeBrock said it will be difficult to break the cycle of jumping in a car when close to a destination, but that is what many parents in the district are doing.
The district, along with SRTS, recommends parents create "walking school buses" in which a trusted adult accompanies a group of kids to school. Carpooling is a necessity at times, but walking is better due to lots of cars in front of the buildings. Safety is always a concern when there is heavier traffic.
"Improvements will take time," DeBrock said. "The more eyes we get on the street the better."
The safe route is not necessarily the shortest, she said.
To volunteer or get more information on Safe Routes to Schools, Monica DeBrock can be reached at (614) 561-8919 or email@example.com or Mark Waite at (614) 582-3814 or Markwaite_tz@yahoo.ca.
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