Walking School Bus
All Aboard Arlington’s Us Bus!
Walking to school has undeniable benefits for mental and physical health. Arlington County has long encouraged the use of active transportation, and Arlington families are always on the lookout for new ways to make it easy for students to travel to school using muscle power.
Walking School Buses are one way to make walking to school easier for families while maximizing the health benefits of walking for students and reducing congestion and pollution in neighborhoods around schools. A Walking School Bus is defined as a group of students walking to school with one or more adults. It can be as informal as two families taking turns walking their students to school or as structured as a planned route with meeting points, a timetable, and a schedule of trained volunteers.
The “Us Bus” is a new Arlington initiative that matches senior adult volunteers with Arlington elementary students/families to engage seniors and support students walking to school. Thanks to a unique Arlington County partnership among the Commission on Aging’s Age-Friendly Arlington Initiative, Arlington County’s 55+ Program, WalkArlington and Virginia Safe Routes to School, a successful Arlington Public Schools (APS) pilot with Oakridge Elementary School in Spring 2022, and a generous grant from the Arlington Community Foundation, the Us Bus is taking steps to expand to other schools and neighborhoods around the County.
Volunteer Arlington Honors Us Bus Founder Andrea Walker with
2023 Arlington Cares Award for Distinguished County Service
At a ceremony on July 13, Volunteer Arlington presented its 2023 Arlington Cares Awards to six honorees, including our fearless Us Bus leader Andrea Walker. When Andrea stepped up to the podium to accept her award for Distinguished Service to Arlington County, she shared highlights of her many Walking School Bus trips leading Oakridge Elementary School Pink Line “passengers” from the sidewalk to the crosswalk to the school door. She then thanked all the “wheels” who got the Walking School Bus pilot rolling at Oakridge in Spring 2022 and the Arlington Community Foundation and Alliance for Arlington Senior Programs for providing the fuel required to keep the program rolling in 2022-23. She closed by underscoring the need for community-wide support (volunteers, students, and funding) to expand the program to other elementary schools around the County in the 2023-24 school year. In Andrea’s words, “This is the Arlington Way—and what the Commission on Aging’s Age Friendly Arlington Initiative is all about—we work together as a community where all generations are not only valued but engaged in creating something invaluable.”
GET ON BOARD!
The Us Bus is LOOKING FOR ADULT VOLUNTEERS to help lead our Walking School Buses at elementary schools around Arlington AND FAMILIES/STUDENTS who live in school walk zones and would like to join the Us Bus Walking School Bus!
Volunteers set their own schedules!
Each Us Bus outing requires only about ONE HOUR of your time.
Whether an hour or so one morning or a few hours over several days a week,
the schedule is UP TO YOU!
THIS BUS IS US!
Taking the First Step
Whether you are interested in getting on board or just want additional information, click on the appropriate link below:
- SENIOR/ADULT VOLUNTEERS
Interested in leading a walking school bus?
Interested in joining a walking school bus?
- COMMUNITY MEMBERS
Interested in knowing more?
The Us Bus team provides support and resources, but we need Walking School Bus “drivers” (adult leaders), “passengers” (students), and “fuel” (community partners) to help bring the Us Bus to more schools and neighborhoods around Arlington County.
For more information, please complete this CONTACT FORM.
There’s room for all…
VOLUNTEERS, FAMILIES/STUDENTS, and COMMUNITY MEMBERS