Walking School Buses Get Kids Moving, Alert, and Ready to Learn
Thirty years ago, 60 percent of elementary school students in America walked to school. Now, less than 15 percent of elementary kids walk to school. Research shows that children who walk to school are more alert and ready to learn.
Until walkable communities again become the norm, a Walking School Bus program helps to recreate some of the positive side effects of walking to and from school. The Blue Zones Project has implemented Walking School Buses in its various communities around the country.
What is a Walking School Bus?
A walking school bus is a group of children walking to school together. For elementary students, the group is accompanied by one or more adults. It can be as informal as a few families doing a “carpool” without a car or as formal as a mapped out walking route with regular meeting points, times, and volunteers.
What are the Benefits of Walking School Buses?
- Increase in daily physical activity for students, helping to form healthy habits
- Pedestrian experience and education for students
- Students who are alert, awake, and ready to learn
- Reduction in traffic congestion around schools
- Increase in family and community engagement and positive social opportunities for students, families, teachers, and community volunteers
- Solution for families concerned about unsafe neighborhoods or safe walking routes
Variations on Walking School Bus Programs
Students who live farther than walking distance can choose to join the walking school buses at certain pre-arranged meeting places.
For older children or neighborhoods with safe bike routes, students can form a bicycle train with an adult chaperone or without (for middle or high school students).
For More Information:
How to Start a Walking School Bus
Safe Routes to School
About Walking School Bus
Step by Step Walking School Bus
Policies to Improve Health
Walking School Buses as a Form of Active Transportation for Children–A Review of the Evidence