CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Chesterfield County kicked off its "My First School Bus" program for a fourth year. Giving rising kindergarteners a chance to practice getting on and off a school bus and learn bus safety before the start of the school year.
Dozens of kids and their parents took part in the first event Wednesday at the Midlothian Library branch.
“They get an opportunity to get on the bus, to try it out, to learn safety precautions, to learn rules associated with riding a bus,” said Cheryle Rodriguez, public relations coordinator for the Chesterfield County Public Library System (CCPL).
The program is a joint effort between the CCPL, Chesterfield County Public Schools, the Chesterfield County Police Department (CCPD), and AAA Mid-Atlantic.
“Kindergarten is a new adventure for these children and the first day of school can be scary,” said Haley Glynn, Traffic Safety Educator and the Mid-Atlantic Foundation for Safety and Education. “The My First School Bus program provides a unique way for rising kindergartners to learn all about bus safety, before the start of school, which can help ease some of those first day jitters.”
Along with the dos and do nots for children, the program also teaches parents about their responsibilities and expectations
“First day jitters, parents get them as well as the kids do,” said Holly Gorman, a Child Safety Officer with CCPD. “They do have a lot of questions about what’s going to happen, who’s going to take care of their child on the bus and once they get to school. What’s going to happen if something doesn’t go quite right.”
Along with the regular sessions, some of the sessions will also have a bilingual driver or Child Safety Officer and some will also have a special needs bus.
Those who want to take part will have to register and can do so on the CCPL's website. Below is a list of the session dates, times, and locations, along with which ones will have the additional resources:
- Thursday, August 8, 10:30-11:30 a.m. - Bon Air Library
- Friday, August 9, 10:30-11:30 a.m. - North Courthouse Road Library
- Monday, August 12, 10:30-11:30 a.m. - Central Library (Special needs bus will be present)
- Thursday, August 15, 5-6 p.m. & 6:15-7:15 p.m. - Clover Hill Library
- Saturday, August 17, 10:30-11:30 a.m. - Meadowvale Library (Special needs bus and bi-lingual bus driver will be present)
- Monday, August 19, 6-7 p.m. - LaPrade Library (Bi-lingual bus driver and Child Safety Officer will be present)
- Tuesday, August 20, 10:30-11:30 a.m. - Chester Library
- Friday, August 23, 10:30-11:30 a.m. - Enon Library
- Saturday, August 24, 10:30-11:30 a.m. - Ettrick-Matoaca Library
If you are not a Chesterfield County resident or unable to attend one of these events, you can find more information about bus safety tips on AAA’s website.