STEPS Offers Challenge to New Britain Transportation

On Wednesday, August 22, 2012, STEPS made a presentation to staff and district school bus drivers at New Britain Transportation on how they can help make a difference this upcoming school year.

Natalie Nyerick, 11th grade student at Southington High School, and Trever Rogers, 9th grade student at Southington High School were the STEPS representatives and presented the following:

On Wednesday, August 22, 2012, STEPS made a presentation to staff and district school bus drivers at New Britain Transportation on how they can help make a difference this upcoming school year.

Natalie Nyerick, 11th grade student at Southington High School, and Trever Rogers, 9th grade student at Southington High School were the STEPS representatives and presented the following:

"STEPS is a community coalition aimed at growing great kids.  The STEPS Youth Council is working to help youth be more successful, through student perspective.  One major topic we are addressing this year is smoking in schools.  The STEPS Youth Council did a small study on teen smoking and discovered the top three places students smoke: school bathrooms, on buses, and at bus stops.  We are here today because two of those places affect you and we need your help.

What you can do for us and all students in Southington is simple!  We know that smoking is an on going problem but we have a few preventative and positive solutions to help your bus – the most important focus being that 'relationships are everything.'

Please consider the following:

1. In addition to paying attention to safely transporting students, think of yourself as an adult role model for them.

2. Be clear from the first time students ride your bus about the behavior you expect from them.  Know what consequences you can enforce and who you can go to for support.

3.  Get to know the names of the young people who ride on your bus.  Greet them when they get on and off the bus.

4.  Make the atmosphere on the bus supportive and fun within safety limits.  Talk with the kids, play music that is appropriate for young people, tell them jokes.

These all relate to the 40 Developmental Asset Approach (Search Institute) that STEPS and the Southington Public School System promote in town.  They are easy to do and can make a huge difference on your bus, for the kids, and for the entire community.

Although these are all small steps, building assets and creating relationships is a start in the right direction.  The more positive and supportive atmosphere a school bus has, the less likely students will engage in risk-taking behaviors." – Natalie and Trever

A special thanks to Dr. Erardi for his continued support.