Ensuring Community School Students Have a Safe Way to Get to School

The ability to receive an education is critical in setting up children for success in life. The Walking School Bus, a partnership with Racine Unified School District, was designed to reduce absenteeism and get community school students to school on time and safely. Since the program started in October 2020, many students have received a safe and fun way to get to school. Currently, 25 students are enrolled in the program which runs routes to both Knapp Community School and Julian Thomas Community School.

The Walking School Bus impacts many community school students and their families. The story below is just one example of the incredible work being done by this program.

Averyon is a regular participant of the Walking School Bus who has regular attendance at Julian Thomas Community School and is thriving academically. His single mother, Alyssa, works full time but still makes time to be involved with his school and volunteers with the Walking School Bus. She often serves as an emergency substitute for the program and is present with her son every time he is picked up by the route leader. Together, this mother and son duo are a shining example of what happens to families who utilize the services provided by a community school.

In order for this program to thrive and expand, volunteers are needed. They provide the backbone that allows this meaningful program to operate. Volunteers develop meaningful relationships with children in our community, while enjoying the health benefits of being active.

The Walking School Bus is currently looking for volunteers to walk routes during the summer. If you are interested, please apply here or contact the Walking School Bus Coordinator at rmcginnis@unitedwayracine.org with any questions.

Ruthie McGinnis, the Walking School Bus Coordinator, has high hopes for the program’s future. “My vision for the Walking School Bus is to build a self-sustaining volunteer base that can offer more routes to get as many students to school as possible. This program is great for our students and also helps to make our community a little bit more green," she said.