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First rider program teaches bus safety basics to new students

Chris Marchand

Chris Marchand served as editor of the Dryden Observer from August 2009 to April 2018.
Kash Wyder prepares to disembark the school bus followed by his brother Wyatt while driver Driver Bill Grynol looks on. Photo submitted

By Dryden Observer Staff

There are plenty of important lessons to be learned even before a child’s first day of school.

The First Rider Program took place on August 23 in Kenora and Dryden — a program teaching bus safety to Junior Kindergarten students and their parents.

Staff from the Northwestern Ontario Student Services Consortium provide practical training by showing the kids how to get on and off the bus and crossing the road with the light system and driver.

“The parents and students are the ones who make First Rider a success.” said General Manager Judi Green. “It is pretty rewarding to see the excitement and enthusiasm of the students as they experience their first bus ride.”

A partnership with the OPP also has an Officer in attendance to reinforce the safety messages. First Student, Hutchison and Iron Range Bus Lines all donate buses and a driver for the annual event.

There were 40 students registered for Kenora and another 52 students for Dryden.  Other communities such as Red Lake, Ear Falls and Ignace also deliver the program with the help of volunteers and school staff.   The Consortium invites parents and the travelling public to sign up for the Email alert system which provides information on snow days, bus cancellations and delays by going to


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