Kids brave severe weather through walking school bus

 Nicole Brazier

PROVIDENCE – Little ones in Providence are getting to school the only way they can… in the street.

Too much ice and snow and a lack of shoveled sidewalks is making their morning commute downright dangerous.

“I’ve asked the city to look into some of the issues we’ve been having to address the sidewalks that aren’t shoveled,” said Julie Casimiro, who runs the Walking School Bus program for Family Service RI. They gather social workers and volunteers to supervise the kids on their walks to and from school, improving absenteeism and tardiness.

Even through the most frigid temperatures they’re out there… twice a day.

“It’s freezing! And sometimes if you don’t have warm clothes you can get sick!” said 8 year old Anthony Whatts.

With the wind chill making it feel like below zero… everyone is bundled up.

But organizers say that’s not enough when the kids still have a walk up to 2 miles long.

“I feel like a penguin walking on the ice!” said 9 year old Jay Rodriguez.

They say extra provisions should be taken to help the walkers get to class.

And the kids say… they wouldn’t mind getting out of the cold.

“I feel like it’s very cold because my nose is getting red!” said 7 year old Felicia Furtado.

Volunteers with the Walking School Bus carry backpacks willed with extra hats and gloves in case the kids come unprepared for the elements. But they could use more… and more volunteers… to find out how to contribute contact Julie Casimiro at 401-519-2289.

(c) WLNE-TV 2015