I cannot imagine a better way to begin Grandparents Day than by walking two of my grandkids, Ella and Henry, to school with my wife, Kathy. And to combine that with a schoolwide event at St. Thomas Aquinas School in Indianapolis celebrating Safe Routes to School is really a terrific bonus.
Ella, a 2nd grader, walked with my wife Kathy, my daughter Amy, her husband Kevin, and me. Henry, in kindergarten, rode along on his bike with training wheels. Together, we formed what is known in the Safe Routes community as a "walking school bus."
A walking school bus simply collects a small group of students with one or more adults on their walk to and from school. Typically, the students live near one another. Even if they already walk to school, the benefit of the walking school bus is that it provides a consistent, supervised system in which children can walk to school under the watchful eye of an adult.
I am so proud of Ella. When we arrived at school after our walk, we were met by several members of the press, and she handled herself like a champ with the media. I don't think Mayor Greg Ballard and Congressman Andre Carson, who joined our walk, got a word in between them. I've always said Ella's a force to be reckoned with.
The toughest media we faced were the school reporters, J.T. Malone and Hannah Gardner, and their editor, Emma Strenski. I look forward to reading their work in the next edition of the school paper.
Meanwhile, other kids from the school joined the "bicycle train," sort of a walking school bus on wheels. And, since I can't be in two places at once--I really wanted to!--today's special bike train guest was a great Safe Routes partner, Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists.