Most schools do not have the luxury of having in-house school buses to transport learners to and from school and to various sporting events, so we really need to consider a better and efficient ways of safely getting our children to school.
I really think schools should be more proactive about encouraging parents to form lift clubs.
Forming a carpool is as easy as this:
- Find class- or schoolmates who live in your area.
- Meet the parents and judge whether you’d entrust your child with him/her.
- Naturally, it should be voluntary.
- Create a simple weekly or monthly schedule, indicating which parent/s will pick up the children on which days and at what times (considering extra-murals).
- Form a Whatsapp group to notify other parents if your child is sick or you have holiday plans.
- Discuss back-ups in case your child is sick and it’s your turn: do you drive anyway or substitute?
- Create a carpooling policy with safety rules, including the use of car seats and seat belts. Safety is key and firm rules need to be abided by the children and parents. To avoid uncomfortable situations, dads may want to request that they only drive around a group of children.
- Remind your children to greet and thank the parents.
- Inform the teachers whom your child is going home with to comply with school safety procedures.
If parents work in relatively small teams with a realistic schedule, it might be manageable.
Let's consider the following benefits of carpooling our children to and from school:
- I strongly believe if there is anything we can do to reduce traffic and car emissions then this is the future!
- If it’s someone else’s turn to pick up the kids, you could use public transport or carpooling to and from work. It means lower fuel consumption, minimised car repair and maintenance, and more money left at the end of the month.
- Your child will meet new children and may build new friendships.
- Your child will learn to be more independent.
- Your child will learn about personal time management. This will help prepare them for life in the big world.
- Last but not least, this would definitely bring about much-needed stress relief. What a great way to make life a little easier.
No man, woman, or family is an island. I might be old fashioned but I maintain it takes a village to raise a child. We need to make use of the resources around us to make life a little bit easier.
Are you part of a lift-club? Are you comfortable letting your child drive with others? What rules and criteria do you have? Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.