National School Bus Safety Week Includes Poster Contest, Public Outreach
published on January 19, 2021 by Sonia Mastros
During times of crisis, it's more important than ever to reach out to the public and assure them that their schools - and their school transportation systems - are safe. Fortunately, despite the chaos, the American School Bus Council (ASBC) was able to carry off its annual National School Bus Safety Week outreach program without a hitch.
National School Bus Safety Week 2020 Was a Huge Success
Every year, National School Bus Safety Week serves an important purpose in informing the public about all the ways school transportation systems protect children - as well as all the ways the public at large can contribute. National School Bus Safety Week brings school employees, contractors, students, parents, and the general public together, and that's particularly important during difficult times.
The COVID-19 outbreak was a primary focus of this year's Safety Week, with extensive discussions around the country about how districts are responding to the coronavirus. This gave schools an excellent opportunity to discuss their safety plans with the public, as well as showing off any new technology or upgrades being used to protect students and their families from disease exposure.
This was also an excellent opportunity to discuss how parents can help protect their community from disease as well. Schools had the opportunity to discuss the need for masks while onboard school buses, and impress upon parents the importance of keeping students home from school if they show any symptoms of COVID-19.
In the process, the ASBC was able to highlight many aspects of how school buses help the community. They could show the public hard evidence that school buses are the safest and most tightly regulated form of transportation on the roads. This also highlights how buses reduce congestion and pollution on the roads, by removing the need for millions of extra cars to transport students.
This year's National School Bus Safety Week was particularly successful for one highly talented student: Bryan Torres-Tavarez, a New Jersey 12th grader who won the event's annual poster contest. More than 60,000 copies of the poster he submitted last year, with the theme of “Red Lights Mean STOP!” were distributed to schools across the nation. Torres-Tavarez also won $500 as a prize for his winning contribution - and hopefully a stepping stone towards a career as an artist!
School districts often lack positive outreach programs for connecting with their communities, so National School Bus Safety Week is always an excellent opportunity to build lines of communication. Did your school district do anything special for Safety Week? Let's talk about it in the comments!