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NEWS RELEASES 2011-12

NEWS RELEASES 2011-12 :: FEBRUARY 13, 2012

NC SCHOOLS TO CELEBRATE "LOVE THE BUS" WEEK FEB. 13-17

Students at Caleb Creek Elementary School (Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools) will have a chance to make a new friend when they board bus number 246 on Wednesday morning. On Feb. 15, as part of the American School Bus Council's (ASBC) annual Love the Bus program, State Superintendent June Atkinson will ride the bus to Caleb Creek Elementary School (1109 Salem Crossing Road, Kernersville) with students and then she will take part in a program to thank school bus drivers.

"Our school bus drivers travel thousands of miles navigating neighborhood streets, dirt roads and highways in all types of weather to get 785,000 students in North Carolina to and from school safely," said Atkinson. "We trust these drivers with our most cherished cargo and it is important that we recognize them this week and throughout the year for the outstanding job that they do."

Gov. Bev Perdue also has proclaimed Feb. 13-17 as "School Bus Driver Appreciation Week" in North Carolina and she urges all school communities and citizens to support the Love the Bus program and to recognize the excellence of the state's school bus drivers and their record of safety.

In North Carolina, the students who ride one of the state's 13,700 school buses contribute to a statewide community savings of $245 million and 67 milllon gallons of fuel. 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 .

"Riding the bus is the safest and most reliable way to get to school," said Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Superintendent Don Martin. "I'm glad Superintendent Atkinson will be able to join me in thanking our bus drivers for all the hard work they do."

In addition to the event on Feb. 15 with Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, many other 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" link under the 2012 Events Calendar. Parents, teachers and children also are encouraged to visit the American School Bus Council's website 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.

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 but also provides an opportunity for parents and children to learn more about the safety and environmental benefits of school bus transportation.

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.