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'Walking school bus' is on a roll  

2011-08-08 22:03:24|  分类: English |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Walking school bus is on a roll - harmonystrategy - 和谐战

Originally published October 11, 2010 at 10:00 PM | Page modified October 12, 2010 at 10:38 AM

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Nicole Brodeur


'Walking school bus' is on a roll

This well-oiled machine of chattering kids and banging backpacks has been running since 2005.

Walking school bus is on a roll - harmonystrategy - 和谐战

Nicole Brodeur

Seattle Times staff columnist


Walking school bus is on a roll - harmonystrategy - 和谐战Walking school bus is on a roll - harmonystrategy - 和谐战PREV  of  NEXT Walking school bus is on a roll - harmonystrategy - 和谐战Walking school bus is on a roll - harmonystrategy - 和谐战


A group of students at West Woodland Elementary School in Seattle take the "walking school bus" with parents. The school has been at the head of the class in the unique exercise-bonding program.

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MIKE SIEGEL / THE SEATTLE TIMES


A group of students at West Woodland Elementary School in Seattle take the "walking school bus" with parents. The school has been at the head of the class in the unique exercise-bonding program.


Clair Dickerson, 5, says goodbye to her dad Tom in front of their home before catching the walking school bus on her way to West Woodland Elementary School. About 20 students take the "walking school bus" each day.

Enlarge this photo

MIKE SIEGEL / THE SEATTLE TIMES


Clair Dickerson, 5, says goodbye to her dad Tom in front of their home before catching the walking school bus on her way to West Woodland Elementary School. About 20 students take the "walking school bus" each day.


About 20 West Woodland Elementary School students on the ''walking school bus'' make their way towards school as they walk through the Phinney Ridge neighborhood.

Enlarge this photo

MIKE SIEGEL / THE SEATTLE TIMES


About 20 West Woodland Elementary School students on the ''walking school bus'' make their way towards school as they walk through the Phinney Ridge neighborhood.


About 20 West Woodland Elementary School students make their way towards school as they walk through the Phinney Ridge neighborhood. Clair Dickerson holds "walking school bus'' parent Sheila Bacon Cain's hand on her way to school.

Enlarge this photo

MIKE SIEGEL / THE SEATTLE TIMES


About 20 West Woodland Elementary School students make their way towards school as they walk through the Phinney Ridge neighborhood. Clair Dickerson holds "walking school bus'' parent Sheila Bacon Cain's hand on her way to school.


About 20 West Woodland Elementary School students take the ''walking school bus'' each day. Sheila Bacon Cain gives her son, Oliver Bacon, 7, a hug after dropping him off at the school.

Enlarge this photo

MIKE SIEGEL / THE SEATTLE TIMES


About 20 West Woodland Elementary School students take the ''walking school bus'' each day. Sheila Bacon Cain gives her son, Oliver Bacon, 7, a hug after dropping him off at the school.


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A moment, please, to acknowledge the patience of Mr. Glen Bradburn.

He's the poor guy charged with coordinating the 18 families and 22 kids who make up the "walking school bus" that travels to West Woodland Elementary School on Seattle's Phinney Ridge every morning.

"You can see the complexity," he told me. No kidding. It's a two-page spreadsheet.

This well-oiled machine of chattering kids and banging backpacks has been running since 2005. So when West Woodland decided to take part in National Walk to School Day last week, and expand it into "Walk and Wheel Month," well, this was the group to emulate.

Nationwide, 3,384 schools have groups like this one; in the Seattle area, 18 schools are walking and wheeling this month — and there's no reason not to do it all year. The kids are exercising, their families are bonding, and in the process, our somewhat disparate neighborhoods are being threaded together into a quilt of trust and familiarity.

My morning on the bus started at 7-year-old Oliver Bacon's house. We hung with his dog, Gus, until Oliver's friend, Nolan Pittman, 8, was dropped off by his mother, who was off to work at Microsoft.

"It's nice to be with your friends and talk to them," Oliver told me. "I went on a real bus in kindergarten."

Said Nolan: "We're walking to school, so this is a school bus."

All the while, Oliver's mother, Sheila Cain, 40, kept her eye on the kitchen clock.

"I can get kind of mean sometimes," quipped Cain, a freelance writer who works from home.

Indeed, at 8:25, it was all business: Out the door, up the street, up some stairs, across the parking lot of the Phinney Neighborhood Center, up more stairs and then onto Phinney Avenue North.

"So many people drive two or three blocks," Cain said as we walked. "It's inexcusable not to walk anywhere, if you can."


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