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Bend kindergarteners invited to ride bus

Riding the big yellow bus is an important first step as kindergarten students set off for their first day of school. To help make the transition easy for parents and students alike, Bend-La Pine Schools transportation staff has invited a familiar face, Winnie the Pooh, along for their first ride.

The 14th annual "Winnie the Pooh" bus safety program kicks off Thursday, August 22nd. The hour-long presentations will cover bus safety rules, give students and parents a bus ride, and show students a "Winnie the Pooh" video about riding the bus – all while enjoying some refreshments.

Sessions will take place at 1pm and 6 pm on August 22 and 23 at the Bend Transportation Department and at 11 am, 2 pm, and 4 pm on August 24. The Bend Transportation Department is located at 501 SE Second Street in Bend - at the corner of Wilson and Second Street.

"This is a fun event for new students and bus drivers alike," said Tim O'Connell, Assistant Supervisor with Bend-La Pine Schools transportation department. "At the beginning of the last school year, school bus drivers could very easily tell among their new students who had attended the program. They were lined up properly at the bus stop and followed the basic bus rules outlined in the training."

O'Connell says that in addition to helping students feel more confident, the training also eases the minds of parents who will hear about the safety features of the bus. Parents can ask questions and will learn the proper way to instruct their child to wait for the bus and to cross the street.                                        

Each kindergarten bus route in the district will have an extra bus driver on-board during the first few days of school to help the new students with school bus rules.

For more information about the "Winnie the Pooh" bus safety program, call 541-355-5700 in the Bend area, or 541-355-5750 in the Sunriver and La Pine areas.

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