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Central Alberta school districts partner to bring back First Rider Program

Program prepares students for school bus travel
(Photo submitted/Wolf Creek Public Schools)

As the new school year approaches, Wolf Creek Public Schools (WCPS) is once again joining forces with Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools, Red Deer Public Schools, Prairie Bus Lines, Chinooks Edge School Division, and Wild Rose School Division to launch the highly anticipated First Rider Program.

Designed to educate children and parents on school bus safety, this free program will be conducted in multiple locations, including Red Deer, Olds, Lacombe, Rocky Mountain House, and Drayton Valley throughout the month of August.

“We are excited to collaborate with our partner school divisions and transportation companies to bring back the First Rider Program,” said Betty Clark, WCPS transportation manager. “Ensuring the safety of our students is our top priority, and this initiative allows us to educate our young passengers about the best practices for riding the school bus responsibly.”

The First Rider Program, set to run from 3 pm to 7 pm, will offer an engaging and informative experience for attendees, lasting approximately 45 minutes. Qualified school bus professionals will be on hand to lead the activities, making sure both children and parents gain essential knowledge about school bus safety.

Participants will be introduced to various aspects of school bus travel, such as where to wait for the bus, when to board, appropriate behaviour while on board, and the proper way to disembark at their designated stop.

The program will also provide a unique opportunity for attendees to take a brief bus ride and learn how to perform a safety exit through the rear door.

“All parents and their children are invited to join us at any of the designated locations,” said Clark. “It’s an interactive and enjoyable experience that will prepare our young students for a safe and comfortable school bus journey.”

The schedule for the First Rider Program is as follows:

- Red Deer: Aug. 15, (3 to 7 p.m.) at Ecole Secondaire Notre Dame High School

- Olds: Aug. 16, (3 to 7 p.m.) at Ecole Deer Meadow School

- Lacombe: Aug. 17, (3 to 7 p.m.) at Gary Moe Sportsplex

- Rocky Mountain House: Aug. 23, (3 to 7 p.m.) at West Central High School, St. Dominic High School

- Drayton Valley: Aug. 24, (3 to 7 p.m.)at Frank Maddock High School

For further information and updates on the First Rider Program, interested participants are encouraged to visit the official websites of Wolf Creek Public Schools and the partnering school divisions.