By 1808Delaware

Mark your calendars for Saturday, August 3 as the Westerville City School District (WCSD) hosts its annual First Time Riders event. Held from 9:00 AM to noon at the Transportation Services Parking Lot, located at 125 East Walnut Street, this event aims to ease the transition for students new to school bus and MyVan transportation.

A Community Tradition Since 2008

First launched in 2008, the First Time Riders event is a cherished tradition sponsored by WCSD’s dedicated transportation staff. This event offers students and families a chance to familiarize themselves with the transportation process, making the first day of school less daunting. The knowledgeable staff will be on hand to provide support and answer any questions.

What to Expect at the Event

The First Time Riders event is packed with activities designed to make students feel comfortable and confident about riding the bus:

  • Explore a School Bus and MyVan: Students can get a firsthand look inside these vehicles, helping them become familiar with their future mode of transportation.
  • Learn Bus Safety: Important safety tips, such as how to safely board and exit the bus, will be covered to ensure students know the basics.
  • Ride Along: Students can take a ride in a school bus or MyVan accompanied by a parent or guardian, offering a sense of security and familiarity.
  • Meet Buster the Bus: This friendly, interactive character will help make learning about bus safety fun and engaging for younger children.

Additional Hands-On Activities

To enhance the learning experience, the event will also feature demonstrations by school bus mechanics. These professionals will showcase the extensive measures taken to ensure the safety and reliability of WCSD’s transportation vehicles. It’s a great opportunity for students and parents to see behind the scenes of school transportation.

Tips for First-Time Bus Riders

Preparation is key to a positive school bus experience. Here are some essential tips for first-time riders:

  • Know Your Route: Familiarize yourself with the bus route number, stop location, and pickup time. Keep this information handy in your backpack.
  • Arrive Early: Be at your designated stop 5-10 minutes early and wait safely away from the curb.
  • Boarding the Bus: Wait for the bus to come to a complete stop, use the handrail, and quickly find a seat.
  • During the Ride: Follow bus rules, stay seated facing forward, and use indoor voices.
  • Exiting the Bus: Pay attention to your stop, exit carefully using the handrail, and follow the driver’s instructions if you need to cross the street.

Supporting Your Child’s Transition

Parents can play a crucial role in easing their child’s transition to riding the school bus:

  • Attend Orientation Events: Take advantage of events like First Time Riders to introduce your child to the bus and the driver.
  • Reassure Your Child: Let them know that a familiar adult will be there to greet them at the end of the day.
  • Gradual Transition: Consider driving your child to school on the first day and then using the bus on subsequent days.
  • Plan for Unexpected Situations: Have a plan in place for what to do if a parent isn’t at the stop as expected. School staff are usually available to assist new riders during the first few days.

Westerville’s First Time Riders event is a wonderful initiative to help students and families feel confident about school transportation. By providing practical experience and valuable safety information, WCSD ensures that new riders are well-prepared for the school year.


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