COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — United Way staff and volunteers walked elementary students from their neighborhoods to campus – highlighting the importance of safety. 

This is the 3rd annual “Walking School Bus” event at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary. United Way staff and volunteers arrived promptly ahead of the school day, taking multiple routes and also greeting students at the front door. 

United Way’s Community Schools United Team continues to raise awareness of the need for greater safety measures in school zones through “Walking School Bus” events at partnering community schools.

Not only is safety a top priority, but also reducing the barriers affecting school attendance. 

Community School Coordinator, Jarvis Hamilton, says this event provides an immediate response to challenges parents face daily. 

“I’m a parent, so I worry about my kids at times,” said Hamilton. “My kids don’t walk to school, but my teenagers ride the school bus. So they’re standing at a bus stop. So I also have to cross my fingers and make sure that they getting to school and making it back home. So it’s just a little lift off their shoulders just knowing that there are certain times of the school year people are going to be in the community.”

United Way’s Community Schools United serves three schools in Columbus and one school in Phenix City. 

Although MLK Elementary is the only participating school, Hamilton hopes the other United Way Community Schools will add this event to their calendars soon.