Bookmark and Share

BUS REPORT Spring 2011

Alabama Embraces "Love The Bus" Month

Across the country, states celebrated February as "Love the Bus" month to recognize school bus drivers and the role school buses play in providing safe and environmentally-friendly access to education. Transportation South, a Thomas Built bus dealer, hosted a special event on Valentineís Day to honor bus drivers in Alabama.

"It was a great day," said Bucky Law, president and owner of Transportation South. "It gave us an opportunity to recognize school bus drivers who have a heart for driving and taking care of school kids."

Each school district in the state was asked to submit an essay nominating one local bus driver. Two winners, Nina Cordell of Dale County Schools and Greg Young of Winston County Schools, were selected as Alabamaís Love the Bus "Drivers of the Year."

Superintendent Sue Reed, who nominated Young, said that a lot of her bus drivers deserved the award. "Communities donít realize what an impact these drivers have on the kids," she said. "We are a small rural county, and our bus drivers are truly interested in the well-being of the children on their routes. Drivers help to educate them, are good listeners and set an excellent example in exhibiting patience."

Drivers from nearly one-third of the counties in Alabama attended the festive event, along with state and local dignitaries, local school children and three news crews.

Law was delighted that Alabama State Senators Linda Coleman and Cam Ward were on hand. "We shared with them that school buses are the largest and safest mode of public transportation in the country, and the role they play in a healthier environment. In tight budget times, itís more important than ever to stress all that the school bus does."

He added that his 20 participating employees were pleased to be part of the event since they rarely get to meet the drivers. "Today, they got to interact with the industry they help support."

Fifth graders from Valley Intermediate School had participated in a drawing contest. The winners attended the event, and their art work was displayed alongside a bus festooned with die-cuts of red lips and a Love the Bus banner.

"Love the Bus is an amazing way to show appreciation for our drivers. They are the unsung heroes of the academic experience, the first people children see when they leave home in the morning and the last before they get home," said Mary Aufdemberg, manager of Thomas Built Busesí Center for Education, who attended the Alabama "Love the Bus" event. "Transportation South did a wonderful job creating an atmosphere of celebration for drivers. While their primary role is delivering children safely to school, school bus drivers play a big role in kidsí confidence, and we were pleased to help honor them."

Transportation South created a festive environment for a special Valentineís Day Love the Bus event

Transportation South created a festive environment for a special Valentineís Day "Love the Bus" event.

Fifth graders from Valley Intermediate School inspect their winning Love the Bus artwork on display at Transportation South.

Fifth graders from Valley Intermediate School inspect their winning "Love the Bus" artwork on display at Transportation South.

Local students in attendance added their names to a bus festooned with die-cuts of red lips.

Local students in attendance added their names to a bus festooned with die-cuts of red lips.