OLDS — As back-to-school time looms, Chinook’s Edge School Division (CESD) is partnering with neighbouring school divisions and a bus company to help new students become familiar with riding school buses.
The program, called First Rider, will be held Wednesday, Aug. 18 in Olds from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the École Deer Meadow School staff parking lot.
Other partners in the program are the Wolf Creek, Red Deer Public and Red Deer Catholic school divisions, along with Prairie Bus Lines.
The First Rider program targets students in kindergarten and Grade 1, along with any other students who will be riding a school bus for the first time.
The 45-minute program is free and involves four activity stations where participants become familiar and comfortable with protocols, procedures and expectations that will make their busing experience successful.
Participants start by watching a video of Winnie the Pooh as he rides a school bus for the first time.
They then learn about safety priorities at the bus stop, conduct a safety evacuation and discover the ‘danger zone’ around the bus where incidents are most likely to occur.
Finally, they hop on a school bus with their parents or guardian for a 10-minute ride to learn about how to get on and off the bus correctly.
Each participant will also receive a goodie bag. The First Rider program is popular and successful. At least 200 students have participated in it each year since it began in 2009.
- With files from CESD communications officer Sandy Bexon