When your child’s school is in the same town, the bus ride may not take long. However, some kids spend much longer on the bus and that can affect how well they do in school. As part of Alive and Well in STL, Five On Your Side explores a new program aiming to help kids pass the time while engaging their minds.
We tagged along as kids living in St. Louis rode the bus to Babler Elementary School in Wildwood. It's an hour and a half there and an hour and a half back. The students are part of a program called VIC, which allows students living in the city to attend county schools and vice versa.
"There was a time when it was very slippery and we had to be on the bus for three hours," third grader Jada Cutts said.
That's a lot of time for kids to sit on a bus, especially without having anything to do.
"Some had things in their backpacks to play with, but others didn't,” teacher Kristin O’Connell said. "Some don't have breakfast until they get to school so that's a long ride without having something to eat."
"When we have long days, it creates a lot of stress and tension and kids are no different," principal Tim Boss said.
Teachers realized they needed to come up with a way to help their kids with the long ride and get their minds moving before school. So they put together activity bags filled with Rubik’s Cubes, colored pencils, trivia games, and books. The bags are now available for all 50 Babler students who travel far to come to school.
Cutts says she and her friends love them.
"I like them because it gives us something to do because we have a long ride," she said.
It's a simple solution that literally goes a long way to help kids live alive and well.