I am back! For those of you who don’t know me….my name is Bev and I love neighbourhoods! I love the connection you can make with your neighbours, the games you can play with your friends and the people that you can meet when you are out for a walk! I grew up in a really great neighbourhood where we could play outside until the street lights came on, walk to school with friends and grab a book from the library book mobile on your street in the summer! My mom still lives on that street and when I drive to her house all those great memories come back to me!
I few years ago I was lucky enough to work in the neighbourhood where I grew up. The neighbourhood had changed and there were not as many children outside playing or children walking to school. The world I once knew had changed and the people no longer connected with their neighbours like they
once did. My job was to support the children in this neighbourhood through the Northside Neighbourhood Hub! A place for all the people to come together and connect and get to know each other! One of the first projects my team introduced was the Walking School Bus program. This program was to empower the children to get to school in a fun and healthy way! I loved that program and I loved those kids! We spent many hours walking to school in rain, snow and sunshine! We played games, sang songs and sometimes we got special snacks! We created Line Leader and Loose Caboose positions so everyone knew where the front and back of the bus where located! We had pizza parties, treasure hunts, elf passes and so much more! I thought we would be able to continue that program for years but unfortunately that was not the case! The funding disappeared and so did the Hub and our Walking Bus. The families, children and my team were heartbroken! It breaks my heart when decisions are made without anyone really understanding the impacts that happen inside the doors of these spaces. I was the face that the children knew and I was the person that let them down when the doors closed. They do not understand about funders. I have sat with this in my heart for a few years and I will not let those children think that they are not important or special or worth the funding to walk them to school! I want them to know that even though I had to leave for a little while, I never forgot them, our time together or the imprint that they left on my heart! Starting in 2023 the Walking Bus will rise again and I will be back in the neighbourhood to meet any children that want to walk with me to school! Get ready for some fun!!