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NEWS RELEASES 2012-13

NEWS RELEASES 2012-13 :: FEBRUARY 11, 2013

NC BUS DRIVERS TO FEEL THE LOVE FEB. 11-15

More than 13,400 yellow buses traveled North Carolina roads this morning to safely transport 790,000 students to school. Yet very few people gave a second thought to the drivers behind the wheels who take on this important responsibility each day. That is why on Feb. 14, as part of the American School Bus Council's (ASBC) annual Love the Bus program, State Superintendent June Atkinson will ride the bus to Ellenboro Elementary School (813 Piney Mountain Church Road, Ellenboro) with students and then at 8 a.m., she will take part in a program to thank school bus drivers for the great work they do.

"School buses offer the safest way for children to get to school and they are the best choice for our environment as they reduce the number of vehicles on the road," said Atkinson. "Many students would not have a ride to school if it were not for our school buses and bus drivers so I encourage principals, teachers, parents and students to find a special way to thank them for their service today and throughout the year."

 Gov. Pat McCrory also has proclaimed Feb. 11-15 as "School Bus Driver Appreciation Week" in North Carolina and he 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 13,400 school buses contribute to a statewide community savings of $247 million. The nation's school bus system takes approximately 17.3 million cars off the roads surrounding schools every morning and helps to save $6 billion, more than 2 billion gallons of fuel and 44.6 pounds of carbon dioxide annually. The NC Fuel Calculator has statewide and county-specific fuel savings data and is available at www.ncbussafety.org. Additionally, studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have shown that school buses are the safest mode of transportation to and from school for children "We are appreciative of our school transportation staff, including our bus drivers, who take great care in transporting our many students every day.  They approach their duties with the utmost concern and care for the safety of our students.” said Rutherford County Schools Superintendent Janet Mason.  “We have an outstanding team with an impeccable safety record." 

 In addition to the event on Feb. 14 with Rutherford 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 2013 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.