It takes a village to keep a Walking School Bus rolling.
On Friday, the Walking School Bus of Fairhope Schools said thank you to the Rotary Club of Fairhope, which donated a gazebo at the start of the 2019-20 school year.
“The kids love it. It’s been great to have the gazebo,” said Charlene Lee, director of the Walking School Bus of Fairhope Schools. “We couldn’t do what we do without the generous support of our civic clubs, like the Rotary Club.”
The gazebo, located on city-owned property in front of Citizen’s Bank on Greeno Road, is used by the Fairhope Intermediate School’s Walking School Bus, which launched for the 2019-20 school year.
Lee also thanked the City of Fairhope, whose crews added steps to the gazebo, making it easily accessible for the youngest walkers.
“It’s the hub for our walkers. We wouldn’t really have a nice meeting space without the gazebo,” Lee said. “It’s such a great addition to our program. We can’t say enough to thank the Rotary Club and city for such a generous contribution.”
The Rotary Club purchased the prefabricated gazebo for about $5,000, and it was installed at the site in August 2019.
In 2013, Baldwin County Trailblazers partnered with Fairhope Elementary School to launch the first daily Walking School Bus program in the state of Alabama. When parents asked that graduating third graders be able to continue the program into 4th through 6th grades, organizers expanded to include a pilot program at Fairhope Intermediate School as well.
The popular WSB just completed its seventh year of operation, with as many as 200 total students walking on some days at the two schools.
Organizers look forward to the Walking School Bus rolling this fall as both schools transition to kindergarten through sixth grades.
About the Rotary Club of Fairhope
The Rotary Club of Fairhope, with roughly 100 members, is the oldest and largest Rotary Club on the Eastern Shore, chartered on Jan. 27, 1938. Its members represent business professionals and leaders from most every vocation. The Club meets weekly on Wednesdays at 12:30 p.m. in the Ballroom of the Homestead Village complex off Greeno Road in Fairhope.