First time riders get a lesson on bus safety

Messenger photos by Dedra Cordle
The South-Western City Schools District hosted its annual First-Time Bus Riders program on Aug. 5. Established in 2016 in collaboration with its transportation department, the popular three-hour event provides rising kindergarteners with the opportunity to become acquainted with the big yellow bus that will take them to school and back home each day. In addition to meeting some of the drivers who will be behind the wheel this year, the children also learned some of the basic rules to abide by as a passenger on the bus as well as some important tips on how to be safe while entering and exiting the bus at their designated stop. Pictured here explaining the 10-foot danger zone and safety zone that surrounds the perimeter of the bus is veteran driver Kevin Teacher.
Bus drivers Tracie Patton and Mark Bartel demonstrate how the wheelchair ramp works on specially outfitted buses.
Anthony Banfield, a rising kindergartener at Alton Hall Elementary, proudly displays the bus tattoo that (temporarily) adorns his arm.
Siblings Ayla, Marcus, and Elijah Gilmore gather for a group photo after exiting the passenger etiquette station. As a rising second grader at Darby Woods Elementary, Ayla knows the rules of the bus so this program was more for her brother Marcus, who will be starting kindergarten this month. Elijah still has a few years to go before he can attend elementary school but he seemed to enjoy his time at the bus riding program too.
Yuri Gonzalez, a rising kindergartener at Richard Avenue Elementary School, was as excited to meet Buster the Bus as she was to showcase the certificate she received for having completed the First-Time Bus Riders program.
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