The kindergarten through sixth grade students at Shelley Elementary School in American Fork, UT, have no bus system to take them to and from school.
The only buses available are intended for the pre-kindergarten students and those students in special education, which means the remainder of the student population, totaling 1,021 children, must walk, bicycle or carpool to school.
Alpine Elementary School, a K–6th grade school with 780 students, is part of Utah’s Alpine School District, the lowest funded school district in the nation. The primary barrier to walking to school had been traffic congestion, but that changed in 2008 when a man attempted to abduct a 6th-grade student on her way to school. The student successfully escaped and told an adult crossing guard what happened, but the fear from that incident created another hurdle to creating a Safe Routes to School program.
Neighborhoods and schools in Taylor will be connected with a 2.4-mile pedestrian and bike path to make the way to school safer for elementary, middle and high school students.
Taylor has a growing population of approximately 18,000, and it is part of the Austin metropolitan area. Its economy is based on both agriculture and manufacturing. The community within Williamson County takes pride in its ethnic diversity.
Rosa Guerrero Elementary is a Title 1 neighborhood school, and 75 percent of the 850 students live within walking distance of the school. Sidewalks lead to the school, and approximately 30 percent of the students have permission from their parents to walk to school. The majority of Guerrero Elementary School’s student population is Hispanic, which means that 90 percent of the students are at risk for obesity, according to PTA SRTS Coordinator Lorraine Maiella.
Abernathy Elementary, Abernathy Middle and Abernathy High School are on the same campus along a busy road in Abernathy, TX. At least half of the students live within walking distance of the schools, but there are no sidewalks to help them reach the school safely.
When officials from the Town of Pleasant View saw that children were walking to school—even without sidewalks—they decided to take action.
The town of Pleasant View has a population of about 4,100, and approximately 595 students in kindergarten through fourth grade attend Pleasant View Elementary School. Within two miles of the school, there are three neighborhoods comprised of a total of more than 300 homes, as well as the downtown area and Main Street.
During the fall 2008 school year at Pawnee Elementary School in the City of Overland Park, KS, students will have a new bus stop to wait at — the pick-up area for the Walking School Bus.
Johnson City, Tenn., is an urban community with more than 65,000 residents. Along with Bristol and Kingsport, Tenn., Johnson City forms the tri-cities metro area, home to more than one million people.