"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.