Joseph Caravella from TransOptions with the Newton Police. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Police and students walk along Trinity Street. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
The group crosses Trinity Street to Union Place. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Cars pass walkers on Sparta Avenue. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
The final stretch towards the school. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Children wait at the Municipal Building for the Walking School Bus. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Students join the Walking School Bus at Merriam Avenue. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Children give high-fives to walkers along the route. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Newton Students Take The Bus To School: The ‘Walking School Bus’
Saturday, June 2, 2012 • 12:26am
NEWTON, NJ – Merriam Avenue School students once again “rode in” to school on the “Walking School Bus” on Wednesday morning.
“The school bus is about to begin,” announced Joseph Caravella, TransOptions Environmental Program Manager, to parents, teachers, school administrators, and students who geared up for the longest stretch to school out of all the walkers, from the municipal building to the school.
“This is one of the ways we’d like to reintroduce your children to walking to school,” Caravella added.
The group walked and rode bicycles along Trinity Street, proceeding up Union Place, traveling along Spring Street, then to Sparta Avenue, next on Merriam Avenue, and finally on Gardner Avenue, before heading into the park and school grounds. At the various stops, other children and their parents joined in.
The Walking School Bus had police escorts at the beginning of the line, and at the back. Officers who participated were: Lieutenant Robert Osborn, Sergeant Steve Benson, Sergeant Dean Coppolella, Patrolman Steve VanNieuwland, Patrolman Ken Teets, and Detective Tom Tosti.
The Walking School Bus is an initiative with TransOptions, which is part of the Safe Routes To School programs. The program is free, and teaches communities about the benefits of alternate transportation methods, such as walking, or bicycling.
“It’s a great event,” said Newton Police Chief Michael Richards. “It’s a great opportunity for the police to interact with people they normally don’t get to spend time with. And it was good to do something cooperatively with the school. It promotes good healthy habits, and safe walking to school.”
Merriam Avenue School Principal Karen Perez informed the students they would do another Walking School Bus event during the next school year.
There were two prior walking school bus events during the 2011-2012 school year.
For more information about TransOptions click here.