Madera’s Walking Schoolbus

Madera Walk to SchoolHi Madera Families,

I’ve been talking to some other parents about starting a walking schoolbus at Madera.

What’s a walking schoolbus?

In short it’s “a group of children walking to school with one or more adults.” – an alternative way to commute to (and possibly, from) school.  This website spells out in more detail what a walking schoolbus is.

Here are some good reasons to do it:

  • It’s fun
  • It’s good exercise (for the kids and adults)
  • It’s good for the environment
  • It creates less congestion and cleaner air around the school
  • It could be more convenient for you than dropping your kids at school
  • It gets you + your kids outdoors
  • It creates community

The only downside is you will likely need to leave the house a little bit earlier.  (You get used to it!)

For now I’ve thought of four bus routes – here’s a google map with the suggested drop-off points:

  • Bus 1: Leaves Arlington & Cutting at 8:05 am, goes up Cutting alongside the golf course;
  • Bus 2: Leaves Arlington at top of Tamalpais staircase at 8:10 am, goes up Arlington;
  • Bus 3: Leaves Stairway / Path on Potrero at 8:10am, goes up through Julian St. to Madera Circle.
  • Bus 4: Leaves Arlington Park at 8:10am, goes along Arlington across our nice new crosswalk to Madera Circle (thank you, City of El Cerrito Public Works Dept.!) up to Madera’s front entrance (ever try to walk to the back entrance?  I wouldn’t suggest it with a big group of kids).

These are just suggested, we’ll see where there is enough interest and enough parent drivers, and I’ll update the map to reflect that when we start.

It would be great to do a test run next week (on Tuesday?) with the goal of making the buses run on time, figuring out any glitches and having it fully operational by International Walk to School Day (yes, that’s a thing.)

If you are interested in either being a regular “driver” or having your kids join the buses (it would be great if you walked along with if your child is in 2nd grade or younger), please post a comment below, and/or get in touch with me.  Also, if your family is good at making big colorful “Madera School Bus” signs I’d love to hear from you.

Let’s start a fun, healthy and green Madera tradition!

– Michael / 3rd grade dad

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