March 05, 2012

News Release

For Immediate Release

Walking School Bus Gearing Up for Spring

The Walking School Bus program in Springfield is getting back in gear this spring. The program is organized by the Childhood Obesity Action Group, and is the result of a partnership between numerous community groups.

City Council has declared March 5-9 as Walking School Bus Awareness Week in Springfield. Parents are encouraged to walk with their children to school and meet the Walking School bus volunteers. Organizers are urging families to learn more about the program and sign up their students to join the walks. Walking school bus routes are timed to allow students to get to school in time for breakfast.

A Walking School Bus is a group of students who live within a 1-mile radius of their school and walk to school together under the supervision of a trained adult volunteer, either to or from school. The program promotes good health through extra physical activity, building a better social network by making friends, a cleaner environment and reduced vehicle traffic around schools. The focus of the entire program is on getting children safely to school in a fun and enjoyable way.

In Springfield, the program is currently active at Delaware, Jeffries, Rountree, Weaver and Williams elementary schools. The students and their adult volunteer leaders follow specific routes in the mornings or afternoons. The program began at these schools last fall and will continue this spring through Friday, May 11.

Parents or volunteers who wish to find out more about the program can call (417) 523-1634; like the Facebook page (search "Walking School Bus, Springfield MO); or send an email to: wsb.springfieldmo@yahoo.com. Volunteers must go through an interview process, background check and safety training.

Partners in this program include the Ozarks Regional YMCA, Springfield Public Schools, Springfield-Greene County Health Department, Mercy Springfield, CoxHealth, Jordan Valley Community Health Center, the Ozarks Transportation Organization and Missouri State University.

Media contact: For more information, call Walking School Bus coordinator Alicia Davis at (417) 523-1634.

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Harold K. Bengsch Building

227 E. Chestnut Expwy. • Springfield, MO 65802
417-864-1658 • health.springfieldmo.gov