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Wake Schools Cuts Some Bus Service to After-School Club

Posted August 29, 2007

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— The Boys and Girls Club of Wake County serves about 700 kids each day. But some children can't get there anymore after the Wake County School System cut bus service from at least seven schools.

Parents, such as Geraldine Gilbert and Marjorie Jawara, are now scrambling to make other arrangements.

“I actually found out the Thursday before school was starting,” Gilbert said.

“It doesn’t make sense to us or the children,” Jawara said. “They are just as confused.”

School system officials said they were trying to make bus routes as efficient as possible. If the transportation pattern didn’t take buses by a certain after-school program, those stops were eliminated.

The issue affects the Boys and Girls Club center in Raleigh and Wake Forest. Wake Forest officials said they know of five schools that will no longer bus kids to the center. Raleigh Center officials said they know of two schools.

Both centers still serve about 20 schools each.

“I think what’s happened over the years is there’s been exceptions to policies and procedures,” said Don Haydon, Wake County Schools chief facilities and operations officer.

With 874 buses on the road and an expected 8,000 more students, school officials said they had to make the best use of their time and money.

“Every little stop or delay adds some incremental cost to the cost of transportation,” Haydon said.

Jawara and Gilbert said the decision is not only inconvenient for them, it's troubling for kids who have nowhere else to go.

The Boys and Girls Club president said he is also concerned.

“It’s too early for us to really know what the impact is,” said Ralph Capps. “Anytime you have kids going to an empty home, that's a recipe you can have problems with.”

Jawara and Gilbert said they are hoping for compromise, because buses from their schools still travel near the Boys and Girls Club.

The school system’s transportation department said it was following the rules laid out by the school board. Those school board members are expected to talk about the issue at a work session next week.

Dozens of schools across the county are not affected and will still provide bus rides to the Boys and Girls Club.

48 Comments

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  • beaconoflight3 Aug 31, 2007

    "hhhmmmm, I must be REALLY old fashioned, I thought PARENTS strive to do daily."
    We're not saying that parents don't strive for a better life for their kids, we're saying that the Boys & Girls Club gives the parents and families a place where they can get quality programs, feel safe, and learn how to make a difference in this world. We all strive to do that but the reality is, a lot of people need help with it. A lot of parents are having to work 2 or more jobs just to make ends meet. Back when I was young, things were different. We had stay at home moms, but that just doesn't happen today as much as a lot of us would like for that to happen. I would like nothing more than to be able to even work just a part time job so I could spend more time with my kids.
    For the comment about dads paying for transportatio, sometimes that's easier said than done. There's a lot of single parents out there and there's a lot of deadbeats out there as well. I hope this situation gets resolved.

  • daMoFo Aug 31, 2007

    Here's an idea. To all the single mom's that say they can't afford to pay for their kids to be taken somewhere after school, have the kid's FATHER pay for it.

  • Nancy Aug 31, 2007

    "It is time for communities to stop complaining about the crime, low grades, and drug use in their communities and do something to better their community. That is what the Boys & Girls Clubs strive daily to do."

    hhhmmmm, I must be REALLY old fashioned, I thought PARENTS strive to do daily.

    Guess they don't do that themselves anymore...

  • scal Aug 30, 2007

    Now that's a new one. Bus service. Let's see...I've heard the numbers were wrong because some schools had too many free lunches, not enough bus driver, not enough teachers, not enough schools, (pretty soon no water), no land, year round vs traditional, less magnet schools, declining SAT's....

    Can we pile on anymore?

  • something2say Aug 30, 2007

    BGCMarketing! Thank you for your comments. I have been familiar with both BGC and YMCA's over the years and know first hand how the programs run differently! My experiences with BGC and their staff have always been great and I know that you make a difference. If it isn't too much trouble, please let this community know how many children you serve during the afterschool hours each year and how much it cost the parents. I think they would also benefit from some of your success stories of youth going to college, coming back to give to the clubs, etc. I am always impressed when I hear one of your directors talk about the amazing kids and their stories!

  • poohperson2000 Aug 30, 2007

    How can bussing outside the normal routes be justified when they do not have enough busses and drivers to get kids who are on the regular route to and from school on time. If your center is on a regular route, then fine they stop there. There are some very affordable options available (although no others that come in at $7 a year). If they raised the fee, perhaps they could get transportation for the program. No one is disputing these are great programs, as sad as it is, the school can not provide us with everything, we have to bear some of the burden.

  • ceei1 Aug 30, 2007

    I can't believe all the neg comments about parents that want their kids dropped off at an afterschool program. Ya'll talking about taxpayer money must not have kids that ride the bus. I am a single mother that works and pay taxes. My son goes to a raleigh parks afterschool and the bus drops him off at the community center. If they did not, I don't know what I would do. His school does not offer afterschool care and I can not afford a daycare that can pick him up.
    We are talking about our future and their education. If they need to be bussed across town then let them.

  • bgcmarketing Aug 30, 2007

    It is time for communities to stop complaining about the crime, low grades, and drug use in their communities and do something to better their community. That is what the Boys & Girls Clubs strive daily to do. Remember you can pay for extra police officers, more jail cells, more welfare, & medicaid or you can encourage these young people to better their lives so they can afford to be self sufficient. If the community takes care of it's children, they will grow up to take care of their community. If you are not willing to pay a nominal fee for transportation now, be willing to support these children as adults later. These children are wonderful children who need the guidance and affection that the club offers. Do your research before stating thoughts that are completely incorrect. I can provide statistics that prove that Boys & girls clubs improve the community, one child at a time.

  • RainierBeer Aug 30, 2007

    Maybe if there was some after-school place for the kid way back a couple of years ago- now 18 - who is being held for the death of his 10-month old, maybe he would've turned out better? back then he was given probation for beating up another student who was waiting for a bus and i remember saying he was going nowhere and would end up killing someone...

  • bgcmarketing Aug 30, 2007

    First, I would like to say to those that are misinformed that Boys & Girls Clubs are not daycare centers and nothing like the YMCA. Although there is a need for all these programs within communities, there is a greater need to have a program that teaches children to be caring, responsible adults. In this fast paced world of internet, technology, and the need to out buy the Jones we need to realize that thousands of children go home daily to unattended homes. I agree greatly that the responsiblity should lie on the shoulders of the parents, however the truth is some parents are not as fortunate, some don't make the time, and others have no choice. Let's just state the obvious here: these children are going to grow up without the Boys & Girls Clubs, but ask yourself, "What are they going to grow up to be?" The answer is: Teenage moms, dropouts, drug addicts, criminals. A few will make something of themselves in this harsh world, but most will make it with the help of the Boys&Girls Clubs

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