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GMTMA announced today the upcoming launch of its new app, “The New Jersey Walking School Bus App,” that will allow parents to easily create and plan walks to and from school.

A “walking school bus” is not an actual bus but is a universal term used to describe an organized and supervised group of children walking to and from school. It’s like a carpool — without the car.

Walking school buses are  a great way to get exercise, reduce our carbon footprints, keep extra cars off the local streets and the school parking lot, and allow children some social time with friends and neighbors.

The app, which will be available for all elementary schools in Mercer County and a limited number of schools in Ocean County, will allow parents to join or create a walking group, invite neighbors to join, coordinate a walk with other parents, assign parent leaders to walk with students, find out when children have arrived to school safely, and offers in-app group messaging. And for a little motivation and competition, the app helps keep track of burned calories and CO2 emissions reduced for the individual, group and school.

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“Walking to school isn’t just great for the health of our kids and the environment, its’s fun and social too,” said Cheryl Kastrenakes, Executive Director of GMTMA.  “The WSB app gives parents a simple way to find other parents that want their children to walk to school and to set up a walking group.”

Last May, Hopewell Borough’s Board of Health, along with GMTMA, hosted a “Walk and Roll to School Day,” a one-day event encouraging local residents and their children to bike or walk to school and to encourage interest in starting a walking school bus pilot program for the fall.

The app, available for both Android and iOS, is scheduled to launch officially the last week of August.  More information about the app and video demo will be available on the Walking School bus page on our website www.gmtma.org.

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