Regional District of Nanaimo transit to introduce Kids Ride the Bus Program

With the help of BC Transit, educators are provided books and learning videos

Getting children excited about riding the bus safely is important in creating life skills and life-long riders, says BC Transit.

Now, the Regional District of Nanaimo is helping that effort with a new kindergarten to Grade 5 school program that teaches kids how to ride the bus.

BC Transit has worked with educational experts to build the Kids Ride the Bus program, using aspects of the province’s concept-based learning approach for today’s curriculum. The program supports teachers and students with activity books, a kids’ peer-to-peer learning video and a selection of curriculum activities.

The curriculum engages the students with concepts such as public transit and the environment, transit history in the community, how to plan a bus trip and transit route planning, the RDN transit office said in a written release. These concepts allow students to explore how travel choices impact the community and its environment, build life skills by understanding how maps and schedules are related and create a bus route using planning methodology.

“Collaborating with educators and students is a fundamental aspect of our future,” RDN board chair Bill Veenhof said. “Students play a major role within our transit system, and being able to help students access the system early on in life will assist in them developing sustainable transportation habits.”

Schools can order activity books at no cost, and are encouraged to have all interested classes from kindergarten to Grade 5 participate. The books include activities such as word searches, a maze, spot the difference and connect the dots. In addition to the activity books there are also opportunities to have a transit ambassador attend the school with a bus.

The ambassador will engage the students and explain how to ride the bus, provide local transit history and fun facts, and wrap up with a tour of the bus to reinforce the student’s passenger skills. The bus will remain stationary during the visit. Presentations to each class will take approximately 45 minutes.

The RDN said the program is in line with the current strategic plan to support and advocate for transit and active transportation. To learn more about the overall program, visit kidsridethebus.com.

To leaern how you can bring this program to your school, please contact the RDN Transit office at 250-390-4531.

— With files from RDN

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