At its Kickoff Party on Saturday, February 3, 2018, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine announced the winners of their 2017 Annual Awards, honoring nine Maine individuals and organizations for their commitment to making the state a better place for cyclists and pedestrians in 2017.
The Bangor School Department and its three walking school bus programs were awarded the Public Service Excellence Award – awarded annually to public servant professionals who have provided outstanding service to the bicycle and pedestrian community in Maine.
John Williams, Executive Director of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, said, “The idea of a walking school bus was first introduced to the Bangor School District in 2016 when the Downeast School applied and was selected to be one of the Maine Walking School Bus Program schools, a program funded through a grant from the Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention and administered by BCM. The program at Downeast flourished, with 25 – 30 students participating in daily walks to school. The school district realized the tremendous benefits of walking school buses, so much so that in 2017, Vine Street and Abraham Lincoln schools applied to be a part of the program.
“The Bangor School District has fully embraced the walking school bus program at three of its schools, providing students with the opportunity to walk to school on a daily basis. Not only do the walking school bus programs provide additional physical activity to the students and volunteer walk leaders, the programs help improve student attendance and learning readiness, foster community relations, and make walking to school fun and accessible!
“Congratulations to the Bangor schools’ administration, walking school bus program coordinators and school staff for all their efforts to make walking school buses a reality in Bangor!”