Friday, March 27, 2009

Italian "Walking Buses"

I recently read a remarkable article about children in northern Italy walking to school in large groups led by adults rather than taking the school bus or having their parents drop them off. This may not seem all that impressive, but in a world dominated by cars and other means of transportation, it is refreshing to see communities trying to change their ways. The biggest reasons for this is to fight childhood obesity, to lower car emissions, and to put kids on the right track now so that they don't become car-dependent as adults. It is also a great way for kids to connect with other students at their schools.
My family lives only 1/3 mile from my sister's elementary, but yet my mom still drives her to school for fear that someone may kidnap her. How wonderful it would be if her school organized a system like this for all the children in the neighborhood. Fortunately, there are currently U.S. cities with programs like this in California and Colorado. Hopefully this idea will spread in the near future.

1 comment:

  1. I saw a very similar idea in Washington DC. Toddlers would take walks holding onto a fabric chain, just like the walking buses. It was fantastic! You could get the kids out, despite being a very crowded urban area, they were easy to keep up with. My mom didn't let me walk to school either, even though we were mere blocks away, for the same fear that I would be kidnapped. Many of my classmates lived in our neighborhood and they too were driven to school. I think this idea would work in so many communities around the US. We just need to get the word out!