During the week of October 20-24, schools in Dalton are celebrating School Bus Safety Week.
The theme for this year’s week is “Be Smart – Be Seen, I wait in a safe place”.
The week kicked off on a great note—Evelyn Borjas, a 4th grader at Roan, won first place in the state competition for the Georgia School Bus Safety Poster Contest. (Four DPS district division winners have ties to Roan—two are students at Roan, and two were former students.)
Borjas is the first state level winner that DPS has had since transportation director BeLinda Parrish has been with the district, which is 17 years.
“I’m so excited to know that we have a state winner for the first time,” Parrish said.
The posters were due at the first of October, and it wasn’t long until Parrish heard that Borjas had been crowned the victor.
“The posters we sent in were exceptional,” Parrish said. And of Borjas’s poster: “It’s so pretty it could be a stamp. She followed the directions perfectly.”
Borjas drew a photo of a school bus coming down the street with students standing on the sidewalk.
“The bus is going to pick up the students in a safe place,” said Borjas of her drawing. “They’re waiting in a safe place so the cars won’t run them over.”
Borjas gets $100 for her poster, and she said she is very happy that she won.
“I like drawing,” she said. “I’m so excited.”
Borjas’s poster will now go on to the national level where it will be judged in Kansas City, Missouri on November 8-11, 2014.
“I’m so proud, so excited,” said Parrish.
The School Bus Safety Week officially kicked off with Monday being Driver Appreciation Day.
Parrish said each of the schools do something special to honor their drivers.
“Dalton High gave them biscuits, and some gave bags of candy or gifts,” said Parrish.
On Tuesday, schools went through bus evacuation drills in the morning.
Safety Bear was also on hand making visits to the schools.
“We need the drivers to know we appreciate them,” Parrish said of the importance of the week. “It’s a difficult job. Sometimes they’re responsible for 70 kids. It’s a way to say, ‘Thank you’.”
The theme for 2015 will be “Bully Free Zone!”
DPS division winners for the 2014 Georgia School Bus Safety Poster Contest
Division I Paola Galaviz Roan
Division II Evelyn Barjas Roan
Division III Maria Martinez DMS
Division IV Jamon Watson DMS
By Lindsey Derrick, Dalton Public Schools Contributor