Momentary looks of confusion passed over some faces in a group of five-year-olds when they realized the big yellow bus they’ll soon be riding doesn’t charge transit fares.
About 500 kids gatherered for a test run at Langevin School with their parents so both could feel prepared, learning the rules with Bob “the bus driver” Clark and Winnie the Pooh.
“The big thing is that they’re knowledgeable,” said Leora Raivich, communications co-ordinator with Southland Transportation. “It’s so they don’t get scared or cry on their first day.”
After a power-point and movie, around the block they went, dropping moms and dads off half way despite some anxious looks on the faces of the soon-to-be kindergarteners, but allaying their fears as the familiar faces returned, just like they would after a real day of school.
The kids were awarded certificates and enjoyed goodies, donated by Co-op, once their mission was complete.
“They’re really proud of themselves when they walk away,” said Raivich.
The program has been running for nine years with great success.
Fay Westcott, there with her daughter Maggie Klett who will be attending Chinook Park in September, said she was surprised when she felt hesitant to wave goodbye on the bus, but said she was happy for the experience since her girl is a tad shy.
“It’s important to familiarize her with (the bus),” said Westcott.