An interview with Heather Wilper, Walking School Bus leader

Parent Leader Profile: Heather Wilper

An interview with Heather Wilper, Walking School Bus leader
Tell us about the walking school bus and your commute to school.

My daughter and I have been walking to school since she started kindergarten, and she’s now in fifth grade. We walk because we’re close to the school (a half-mile) and I know it’s good for us. Plus, we’ll do anything we can to help cut down on the traffic during drop-off and pick-up.

We've participated in a walking school bus since spring 2013, and I began leading it in the fall. Participation each month ranges from 15 to 25 students and we’re hoping to get another route going soon! The walking school bus is always supervised, so we’re running it one day a month right now, but I’d like it to become more frequent. When the walking school bus arrives at school, kids sign in on a poster and receive a bracelet through our Safe Routes to School program.

What advice would you give to other parents interested in walking or biking to school?

We’ve participated in a walking school bus since spring 2013, and I began leading it in the fall. Participation each month ranges from 15 to 25 students and we’re hoping to get another route going soon! The walking school bus is always supervised, so we’re running it one day a month right now, but I’d like it to become more frequent. When the walking school bus arrives at school, kids sign in on a poster and receive a bracelet through our Safe Routes to School program.

Tell us a fun or interesting story from one of your walks to school.

We’ve had lots of interesting things happen during our walks! My favorite was when my daughter was in Kindergarten. A typhoon came over from Japan and caused weather we rarely see in California. It was raining sideways! Rather than pile into the car, my daughter wanted to walk through it. We had a blast and turned down rides offered by neighbors so we could keep walking through it.

What resources have been particularly helpful in growing the walking school bus at your school?

Our school has a route map that has been a big help, along with finding out how many other kids live in the neighborhood. We've found a lot of other walkers simply by walking around the neighborhood.