By Anne Eickstadt

ANNE EICKSTADT PHOTO Belvidere Republican
Students at Seth Whitman Elementary School sign a school bus safety pledge during the Safety Dog Bus Tour visit.


First Student brought the Safety Dog Bus Tour to Seth Whitman Elementary School in Belvidere on Wednesday, Oct. 24 as part of National School Bus Safety Week. The annual campaign, sponsored by the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT), included this year’s theme, “My Driver – My Safety Hero!”

“Student safety is at the heart of everything we do,” said First Student Location Manager Tiffany Flood. “The Safety Dog Bus Tour provides a timely and engaging platform to teach appropriate behavior and showcase the safety features on a First Student bus. We make it fun, so these messages are delivered in a memorable way.

“It’s very exciting,” she said. “First Student has 47 locations and to be picked to host this tour is an honor. It’s a fun interaction for kids. They get to sign a bus safety pledge, meet the Safety Dog, color pictures, and go on a bus tour with safety tips.”

During Safety Dog Bus Tour events, students can see firsthand how a First Student bus is designed for safety inside and out; “Walk the Yellow Carpet” and pose for a photo with Safety Dog, First Student’s safety mascot; sign a safety pledge and leave with a bag full of Safety Dog goodies. The goodie bag held a water bottle, crayons, a coloring book, sunglasses, bracelets, and stickers.

The students boarded a school bus and expert trainers explained how the bus is designed for safety, the drivers are trained for safety, and what each student needs to do to play their part and help keep themselves and everyone else safe.

Since 2015, there have been 23 stops on the Safety Dog Bus Tour. In total, more than 25,000 guests have visited a stop, and almost 9,000 students signed a safety pledge.

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For complete article, pick up the Nov. 1 Belvidere Republican.

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