Locals Share Their Experiences with the Portland Walking School Bus Program

“The Walking School Bus at East End Community School seems to be off to an awesome start from a parent’s perspective.  My daughter, who is in the 3rd grade, is really enjoying it.  After the first walk she was excited to show off her personalized map and backpack tag, they were very special to her.  She was so intent on keeping everything where it was supposed to be in/on her backpack that she was barely letting me look it over so she could make sure they were in the right place!  My daughter has not been into taking the bus in the morning, was slow to get up, and I was unsure that she would be making it out the door in time to do the WSB.  Much to my delight she was getting up earlier last week because she was looking forward to the walk to school.  She has also already seemed to reconnect with a friend who lives nearby and is on the same WSB route, which is great and they have met up to play a few times already after not playing together outside of school for several months. I thought you would like to hear that in less than a week, we are already seeing positive changes as a result of the program.  Thank you!”

Caity H.

“My favorite thing about volunteering is getting to know students and people in the neighborhood.  I’m happy to have established friendships and acquaintances with people I’ve lived close to for years.”

Alex E.

“I was putting something out on our front steps this morning and heard the voices and chatter of a group of kids and thought, “I wonder if it’s the Walking School Bus?!”  And sure enough, around the corner came a volunteer and her lively crew of students to cross the street (some great pausing and looking and holding kids back to make sure it was safe!) and then I got to see them continue on along Congress.  It’s a wonderful sight – I swear it’s brought more life to the neighborhood.  And then my young daughter called out through our second story window, all excited, “Mama, mama!  We just saw the Walking School Bus!”  Like it’s an event – which it is in a way!  I’m just so grateful to be witnessing it happening in our community and for all the volunteers who are making it a reality.”

Sarah C.

“I just wanted to share that, in the 2 weeks my first grader has been participating in the Walking School Bus at East End Community School, we have had NO getting-ready-for-school battles in the morning! My daughter LOVES to walk places and the WSB motivates her to get up and out in the morning. That’s a gift in and of itself. Thank you for helping to coordinate this fabulous program!”

Katherine E.