In a normal school year, the American School Bus Council would hold in-person events at select school districts nationwide to celebrate the importance of the yellow school bus. However, nothing is normal with the COVID-19 pandemic changing the landscape of schools and setting limitations on gatherings.
In response, ASBC, a coalition of persons representing the three associations and the three major OEMs, aims to bring the pupil transportation industry together virtually to celebrate its Love the Bus Month.
ASBC announced a new online video campaign titled, “Big Yellow Valentine,” which is designed to help educate parents, school officials, lawmakers and the public about the important role the yellow school bus plays in ensuring children receive an education.
“Each school day, millions of children depend on the yellow bus to get safely to and from school. While the school bus, the safest way to get to school, is often deemed the hero by school children, it’s those behind the scenes — the drivers, technicians, and bus attendants — who are the unsung heroes,” said Charlie Hood, executive director of the National Association of State Directors of Public Transportation Services. “This year, we wanted to take a different approach and produce a commemorative video to celebrate all those who keep education rolling. This past year has been difficult for all, so we wanted to take this time to show our appreciation for this essential personnel.”
Hood and Patrick McManamon, NASDPTS president, currently represent NASDPTS in ASBC projects and meetings. The other member organizations are the National Association for Pupil Transportation, the National School Transportation Association, and school bus manufacturers Blue Bird, IC Bus and Thomas Built Buses.
In December, ASBC called for nominations of school bus drivers and staff whose contributions especially stood out over the past year. The professionally made video, which will be available online later this month, will feature those stories and photos that were submitted.
ASBC stated that while many school districts may not be able to celebrate the month in-person, it encourages the recognition of drivers and other essential district workers by sharing their stories, videos, and photos via social media, using the hashtag #LovetheBus2021.
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The Love the Bus campaign, which began in 2007, is a month-long celebration held every February. It celebrates the importance of the yellow school bus, with a focus on thanking school bus drivers for safely transporting students to and from home daily.
“The events raise awareness and appreciation for the experience of riding the bus to and from school and recognize the diverse set of individuals whose daily efforts make the yellow school bus part of the fabric of American life,” a press release from the ASBC stated.
Editor’s Note: Send videos, photos and comments that show how your school district/bus company is celebrating Love the Bus Month to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your operation could be featured in an upcoming article or on our social media channels.