The Minnesota State Patrol Office of Pupil Transportation partnered last month with the Minnesota School Bus Operator’s Association (MSBOA) and the Minnesota Association of Pupil Transportation (MAPT) to recognize the winners of the 2013 statewide School Bus Safety Poster Contest for students in grades K–6.
The top three place-winners for each grade were invited on Sept. 12 to watch the Minnesota Twins take on the Oakland A’s at Target Field, where students took the field, along with their siblings, to be recognized in a pre-game ceremony. Poster art in hand, contest winners were announced as their images were displayed on the big screens around the park.
The contest was conceived and carried out by the three agencies to promote a specific school-bus safety message; this year’s theme was “At My Stop, You Stop.”
With local media in attendance, the ballpark event allowed fans to see the posters and the contest winners both in the park and at home. The timing of the award ceremony was chosen to coincide with the second week of classes in most Minnesota schools, when they typically conduct school-bus safety training.
It’s a great time to remind everyone to stop for school buses with lights flashing and stop arms extended. And for the kids, the ceremony is a treat. Many of them told us they’ll try to win the contest next year, too. In fact, increasing participation in future poster contests is one of our goals as we plan a very visible ceremony around baseball, families and having a good time.
Event sponsors included Telin Transportation, Park Adam Transportation, Seon, Hoglund Bus and Truck, North Central Bus Sales, Main Line Transportation, The Teehive, Crosby-Ironton Transportation, the MAPT and the MSBOA.
Without their help, we wouldn’t be able to make this happen. The Twins organization is very cooperative, too; they’ve even invited us to come back in the future. Keeping students safe on buses is important work, strongly supported by communities and school systems.
The State Patrol encourages every public safety organization to explore new ways to help promote school bus safety.
Lt. Brian Reu is the state patrol director of pupil transportation.