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NEWS RELEASES 2010-11

NEWS RELEASES 2010-11 :: FEBRUARY 14, 2011

STATE SUPERINTENDENT ATKINSON ENCOURAGES STUDENTS AND PARENTS TO LOVE THE BUS

Guilford County Schools Bus No. 923 will carry a special passenger to school this week. On Feb. 17, as part of the American School Bus Council's (ASBC) annual Love the Bus program, State Superintendent June Atkinson will ride the bus to Jamestown Middle School (301 Haynes Road, Jamestown) with students and then she will take part in a program to thank some of the men and women who take students safely to and from school each day.

"More than 770,000 students in North Carolina start their school mornings on one of our 14,000 yellow buses," said Atkinson. "Not only do these buses provide the safest transportation for students, but they also cut down on pollution and offer families a way to save on fuel in these tough economic times."

In North Carolina, the students who ride the bus to school contribute to a statewide community savings of $211 million. The nation's school bus system eliminates the need for 17.3 million cars and 2.3 billion gallons of fuel annually. Additionally, according to the National Academy of Sciences, a child is over 13 times safer in a school bus than the average of other ways to get to and from school. The NC Fuel Calculator has statewide and county-specific fuel savings data and is available at www.ncbussafety.org.

The Love the Bus program, founded in 2007 and coordinated by the American School Bus Council, is not only a way to raise awareness and appreciation for the hundreds of thousands of school bus drivers nationwide who safely transport 26 million school children on 480,000 buses, but also provides an opportunity for parents and children to learn more about the safety and environmental benefits of school bus transportation.

To help celebrate Love the Bus, during the week of Valentine's Day (Feb. 14-18) and throughout the month of February, parents, teachers and children are encouraged to visit www.LoveTheBus.com to share stories about their favorite bus drivers and make interactive valentines to email or print and give to their bus driver.

North Carolina school districts will be hosting a variety of activities to show their support for bus drivers. To find out more about these activities, visit www.ncbussafety.org and click on the "Love the Bus 2011" link.

For more information on North Carolina's program, please contact the NCDPI Communications division at 919.807.3450. Additional information on the ASBC is available online at www.americanschoolbuscouncil.org.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 107 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.


For more information:
NCDPI Communications and Information, 919.807.3450.