Did you know that Dubuque has walking school buses? What is a walking school bus? In November of 2011, the Dubuque Community School District received a $12,000 grant to expand its Walking School Bus program to five new schools. A collaborative effort of the Dubuque Community School District, the City of Dubuque, the East Central Intergovernmental Association (ECIA), and the Dubuque Safe Routes to School Committee, the Walking School Bus is a group of children walking to school with one or more adults. Adult supervision allows children to take advantage of a more active lifestyle while reducing safety concerns for families who live within walking or bicycling distance to school. Through the Walking School Bus, children get regular exercise, learn pedestrian safety skills, and adopt healthy habits at an early age.
Project leaders selected Audubon, Carver, Fulton, Kennedy, and Lincoln to pilot the Walking School Bus, as these elementary schools represent a diverse cross-section of the District’s older and newer schools. Fulton Elementary School implemented the Walking School Bus on a trial basis in the spring of 2011. Fulton administrators reported
a decline in bullying and harassment during the walking school bus and received fewer complaints from neighbors about the behavior of students walking to school. Project leaders are working to have multiple Walking School Bus routes operating at all five schools by spring 2013 and hope to expand the program to more schools in the future.
The Walking School Bus program runs on help from community volunteers. If you are interested in participating in the project, please contact Dan Fox at ECIA, 563-556-4166.