Sign for the Walking School Bus along Trinity Street. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Parents, students, teachers, administrators, and police officers in front of the municipal building. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Newton Police Officers Sergeant Dean Coppolella,Detective Joseph D'Annibale, Lieutenant Robert Osborn, and Detective Thomas Tosti. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Officer Steven VanNieuwland, Joseph Caravella of TransOptions, Merriam Avenue School Principal Karen Perez, and teacher Linda Salerno of the Merriam Avenue School. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Joseph Caravella of TransOptions speaks to the group. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Officer Steven VanNieuwland guides students along Trinity Street. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
The Walking School Bus proceeds along Spring Street. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
The Walking School Bus crosses Sparta Avenue to Merriam Avenue. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
The "bus" walking along Gardner Avenue. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Teachers distribute prizes to the students. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
The group walks up Union Place. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Students Walk To School ‘On The Bus’
Wednesday, April 25, 2012 • 8:03pm
NEWTON, NJ – Merriam Avenue School students, teachers, school administrators, parents, and police officers took the bus to school this morning, on foot, through the town of Newton.
The group participated in TransOptions Walking School Bus, first taking off from the Municipal Building, then along Trinity Street where there was a “stop”, then up Union Place, and next along Spring Street to Sparta Avenue. The last “bus stop” was at the corner of Sparta and Merriam Avenues, before the group rounded the corner to Gardner Avenue, and crossed through the playground into the school.
At the end of the walk, each child received prizes from TransOptions.
“This is something you will get used to and do more and more of,” said Joseph Caravella, Environmental Programs Manager for TransOptions. “There’s less of a danger with all of you walking to school together.”
Karen Perez, Principal for the Merriam Avenue School, thanked the parents, students, and teachers for their participation.
“This is just a great healthy activity,” said G. Kennedy Greene, Newton Public School District’s Superintendent. “It reconfirms why we’re proud of our town, to walk to school is a nice opportunity for everybody.”
TransOptions is hosting its first annual Walk and Bike to School Week through April 27. The group participates in the Safe Routes To School program through the New Jersey Department of Transportation, advocating safety in walking and bicycling within neighborhoods. The programs, including the Walking School Bus, and Bike-to-School Day (with does in-class bicycle safety programs), are free to the communities which TransOptions covers.
The New Jersey Department of Transportation has allocated close to $29 million in the safe routes to school program since 2005.
TransOptions offers other outreach programs as well. One of the in-class environmental education programs is the Junior Solar Sprints and Hydrogen Fuel Cell Model Car Challenge, to teach students about air quality issues, and alternate transportation solutions.
The TransOptions Student of the Month Award is another program the organization participates in within Sussex County, and the recipients receive a $100 savings bond, a certificate of recognition, and announcement on the air during the “Morning Show with Steve Andrews” on WSUS 102.3.
Bicycle Friendly University is a program offered to universities, with TransOptions working with universities to provide bicycle safety programs. Bike lockers, bike-to-work events, workshops, newsletters, and more are part of the program.
Click here to access the TransOptions website for more information about any of the programs.