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Look out for the "walking school bus"

7:03 PM, Oct 3, 2011   |    comments
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PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Each week day morning in the neighborhood surrounding the Ocean Avenue Elementary school in Portland, children come together to form a walking school bus. It gets kids out into the fresh air and gives them exercise, but it also helps to keep them safe.

Drivers tend to notice children more when they travel in groups.

"I think this is part of a way of communicating kids are on the street," said Tobin Scipione, a parent. "They're on the sidewalk and its really important to yield to them especially during school drop off times ans school pick up times. You can't always rely on children to make the best judgement so its really important that cars are extra cautious. '

One parent oversees the group as they make the walk together to school. Each parent takes a turn chaperoning the walking bus. Monday is Scipione's day. That frees up the other parents to head in to work or take care of anything else they have to do that day without having to worry about their children's safety.

Before they head out on their trip the children are reminded of the rules of the road.

"Sometimes they'll pick one person to go ahead of everybody and stop at each stop walk or street and wait for everybody to catch up," said Paige Marchand, a second grader.

This neighborhood's walking bus just started a couple of weeks ago. The parents are hoping to keep it going right through winter into the spring and the end of the school year.

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