Hillsboro Elementary School principal Evan Yoder is looking to expand the school’s walking school bus program by recruiting more parent volunteers.
Currently the bus forms a route in the mornings from Trinity Mennonite Church to the school. He hopes with more volunteers another route can be added in the morning and after school.
Last year there were more than 30 parents and Tabor students who helped on a rotation of no less than three adults per day. Typically, around 20 students took the walking bus each morning. Ideally, Yoder said, he would like to have one adult for every five children walking.
Yoder also walks with the bus.
“I enjoy getting out and walking with the kids and having conversations with the kids and parents,” he said. “The kids get exercise and are calmer when they get to school.”
Some families even travel from out of town to participate in the bus.
Families and kids are so busy after school that it’s hard to establish healthy exercise habits and the bus gives students that outlet, Yoder said.
The bus has also led to a decrease in vehicle traffic around the school, and created bonding time between the parents and kids.
“We are hoping for a large contingent of community leaders, parents, interested volunteers, and others to join us,” he said.
Those wishing to volunteer can contact Yoder or bus coordinator Tammy Ollenburger at (620) 947-3981.