Groups of parents in the Israeli cities of Kiryat Ono, Raanana and elsewhere have organized “walking schoolbuses” to transport children to school in the mornings.
Elementary-school children walking to school used to be a common sight in Israel. But modernization has led large numbers of parents to take them in the car each morning. Recent campaigns warning against allowing children under 9 to cross the street alone have further discouraged walking.
Driving kids to school increases pollution, traffic and the risk of accidents, especially near the school where kids are dropped off. So parents in Kiryat Ono made up four walking routes and asked for volunteer parents to accompany the groups of first to third graders.
With a ratio of ten children to one adult, the Kiryat Ono “bus” travels as a group visible to drivers, aided by a school flag. The kids even receive kartisiyot, a bus pass that drivers, in this case parents, punch to record a fare.
The Kiryat Ono father interviewed on the radio mentioned an added bonus in addition to the exercise and fresh air: The chance to get to know your neighbors.
For more green parenting posts by Hannah Katsman see:
Keeping Baby Hydrated and Safe in Hot Weather
Urban Design: The Traffic Circle as a Space for Art