Longmeadow students get to class by ‘walking school bus’

Children walk to school in a big group, like a walking carpool

LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – Forget a driving school bus– what about a walking one? That’s how some students at Blueberry Hill School in Longmeadow got to school Thursday.

In a town with just four school buses, approximately 60 percent of students in Longmeadow walk to school, and now, there’s a program to get them walking together.

The concept is simple, but it could help a lot of families. The walking school bus is like carpooling, but walking! A group of children walk to school together with one or more adults.

Principal Amy Bostian of the Blueberry Hill Elementary School told 22News, “The school community, specifically, partners with the local police department and it also gets exercise at the forefront of our conversation, and it does help with our car line so anything we can do with building efficiency and safety is really great.”

Longmeadow students trade buses and cars for long walk or bike to school

The Longmeadow Police Department is implementing the program after the success of International Walk to School Day on October 4. Blueberry Hill School, Center School, and Wolf Swamp Road School are all participating in the new walking school bus program.

The police department says it can be as structured or informal as parents want it to be. The main goals of the program are to promote exercise and build camaraderie in the community, with the added benefit of shorter drop-off lines for parents who still choose to drive their children to school.

When Wolf Swamp School started the program on Halloween, nearly 50 students participated.