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First day of school means Edison's Walking School Bus is back

Thursday was the first day of school in the St. Joseph school district. It was also the first day of school for the new district's Superintendent, Dr. Doug Van Zyl. KQ2's Vanessa Alonso was with Van Zyl at one school helping to welcome a group of kids.

Posted: Aug 17, 2018 7:54 AM
Updated: Aug 17, 2018 8:07 AM

"I'm excited. Hopefully as excited as the kids are."

That's the hope and optimism St. Joseph Schools new Superintendent Dr. Doug Van Zyl has as students and parents arrived at Edison Elementary School Thursday morning to start the new school year. To celebrate he helped a group of kids walk from their home to school. It's all part of the school's "Walking School bus" Volunteer program.

"The bus comes to pick kids up if they are outside of a mile and a lot of our kids here at Edison live within a mile so that's why we started it. Just want them to get here safe and build relationships with them," said Walking School Bus Coordinator Sam Donahoo.

The Walking School Bus not only brings excitement for kids. It also brings a piece of mind to parents. 

"This really was like a blessing," said Mother Lindsey Holcomb.

Holcomb signed her son Riley, 9, up for the Walking School Bus last year after his father suffered a severe stroke and could no longer walk him to school. She's forever grateful for what these volunteers do everyday.

"They are always the same trusted people. They watch the kids. It's always on time. They always go the same route," Holcomb said. "The Walking School Bus, you have saved Riley's childhood and helped me as a mother. So I really just want to say thank you."

For Van Zyl, this program is just on of the many hopes and dreams he has heading into this new school year and a new chapter for the school district.

"We just want to get better at what we do and that's taking care of kids and making sure they are successful," said Van Zyl. "We also want to make sure we are partnering with the community and building that community and unity in everything that we do."

The school is still needing more volunteers to participate in the "Walking School Bus" event. It's also not too late for Edison Elementary families to sign up their kids for it.

You can call (816) 390-4201 for more information.

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Temperatures have dropped down below freezing for many this morning with mostly clear skies creating a few areas of frost. Today temperatures will struggle to warm up again into the upper 40s and lower 50s with a mix of sun and clouds. Tonight temperatures will drop into the upper 20s and lower 30s again providing another frosty morning on Thursday. Southerly winds will return on Thursday helping to slowly warm temperatures back up into the upper 50s. Most of the day Thursday will be dry but rain chances will start to increase after about 6 PM. Rain chances will continue for the first half of the day Friday before moving out of our area. The weekend looks comfortable and spring like with temperatures in the 60s and 70s under mostly sunny skies. The warm up continues into next week with highs in the 70s and 80s on Monday.
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