Walking School Bus brings joy in Narrabundah
There may be a few extra smiles on the morning streets of Narrabundah at the moment! CS#1’s Wellbeing Hub and Narrabundah Early Childhood School (NECS) have launched a joint initiative called the Walking School Bus. The bus aims to support the learning and wellbeing of NECS students.
The 2016 ACT Chief Health Officer’s report found that just 19% of children were achieving the recommended 60 minutes of activity each day. The Walking School Bus offers numerous health, environmental, safety and punctuality benefits. The Walking School Bus can assist children to get to school safely, conveniently and on time while getting regular physical activity. School staff have commented on the benefits of the Walking School Bus. Julie Dixon, the Principal of Narrabundah Early Childhood School, noticed the positive atmosphere that came through the school gates from the first day:
“The first day the Bus operated you could see the joy on the children’s faces. They were so excited! We are delighted to be partnering on this initiative.”
Donna Seal, Narrabundah Early Childhood School’s Community Coordinator stated:
“Students are very excited about walking to school with their friends and the bus volunteers. Each day students learn more about traffic safety and their local community. The bus is a fun, active way to start the school day. Students arrive to school ready to learn.”
The Walking School Bus is ‘driven’ by volunteers who meet the children at designated spots and accompany them to school safely, reinforcing children’s knowledge of road safety rules and contributing to a positive start to their school day. Amanda Tobler, CS#1’s CEO recognises the broader impact projects like this have for families:
“Community support of families is such an important part of increasing the wellbeing of our children. CS#1 aims to ensure everyone in the community feels supported and able to access services that meet their needs. We are thrilled to be supporting our local community in this way as we work to increase our services for families across the ACT.”
Walking school buses are used around the world, but this is a first for Narrabundah. International evidence suggests they make a positive impact on lessening congestion around schools and increasing a sense of community among the walkers and volunteers. For CS#1 and NECS it’s another way to support busy families and their children.