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Walking School Bus programme hits 2,000 mark

ARTA Media Release
18 July 2008

Walking School Bus programme hits 2,000 mark

The Auckland Regional Transport Authority’s Walking School Bus programme has reached another milestone, with over 2,000 adult volunteers now walking with 4,500 children on 254 Walking School Bus routes throughout the Auckland region.

Sue Kendall, ARTA Walking School Bus Coordinator, says, “The Walking School Bus programme – where a group of children walks to and from school supervised by adults – has been growing steadily since it first started in the year 2000. Each year the number of Walking School Bus routes, children and volunteers increases, which shows Aucklanders’ support for this initiative. 2,000 volunteers participating in the programme is of course an impressive figure, but we are always looking for more volunteers who want to get involved.

“In the current climate of increasing petrol prices and living costs, Walking School Buses are a great way to save on petrol while giving parents and caregivers a chance to spend time with their children and do something positive for their school. Walking to and from school is of course also a positive and easy way for children to get some exercise.

“Our volunteers often mention that they got involved with a Walking School Bus because they enjoy being part of a positive community initiative and want to get to know the children’s friends, as well as enjoying the benefits of walking. Many volunteers also find that joining a Walking School Bus saves them time – by volunteering one day a week they then have the other weekdays free while their children still get the benefit of safely walking to school under adult supervision.”

Walking School Bus volunteers come from all walks of life, from shift workers to senior managers. While the majority of volunteers are parents of school-age children, uncles, aunties, grandparents, friends and caregivers can also be involved in supporting their community’s Walking School Bus.

The Auckland Walking School Bus programme is able to reward its Walking School Bus volunteers due to the generous support of SKYCITY Cinemas, AMI Insurance and Vitality Works.

To find out how to volunteer on a Walking School Bus route or how to set up a Walking School Bus in your school, please contact Sue Kendall on 09 815 2546 or email sue.kendall@arta.co.nz

ENDS

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