School bus drivers in Wolf Creek Public Schools have a new positive focus, as the school division has partnered with area businesses and service groups to launch the new Rider of the Month program.
“The idea began with the thought of how we can help drivers,” said Tammy Freerksen administrative assistant, WCPS Transportation Services. “That expanded into a full ‘catch them being good’ program, loaded with positive reinforcement.”
Freerksen with the Rider of the Month program gives every bus driver in WCPS the opportunity to communicate with riders and parents by simply sending in a few positive remarks regarding the student on their bus.
The nomination form comes into the transportation department and is generated into a certificate to be sent to the child in the mail with a nice little “brag tag” and a gift from a local sponsor.
“Bentley and Crestomere Subway, Blackfalds’ McDonalds, Central Alberta Co-op – Eckville Food Store, Rimbey Lions Club, City of Lacombe Aquatic Center and the Town of Ponoka,” have all come on board to sponsor the program, and we are honoured and proud of the collaboration in our communities,” said Freerksen.
During the first month of the program 30 percent of the drivers nominated a Rider of the Month and sponsors' donations helped send out everything from a meal at a local restaurant to a family swim at the aquatic center.
“Parents have responded positively to the program noting that the kids love getting mail addressed to them and the parent enjoys reading a positive note about their child,” said Freerksen. “The school adds the child’s recognition to their news publication and the community can help reinforce the positive messaging by congratulating the rider.”