56 million children will be attending school across the nation this year. Many here in the Mid-Ohio Valley will be stepping on the bus or crossing the street to school for the very first time. Local school officials want all children to remember how to stay safe on the first day, and all throughout the school year.
Getting people safely across the road has been crossing guards, Pam James job for over twenty years. "I just feel like I'm apart of their lives and they just mean so much, and I just love children," said James.
James said the excitement of the first day of school can make some kids careless when it comes to the rules of the road.
"They're not paying attention, and the motorists need to be on the look out for children, "said James.
James urges parents to tell children to walk in pairs or groups, take main roads, not to walk in alleys, and to listen to your crossing guard.
Many parents and guardians opt to drop their child off at the school door themselves, and there are safety measures for them too.
"If you choose to bring your child to school you've made a commitment to get them to school safely. Wait your turn and drop them off in the designated place, "said Sue Woodward with Wood County Schools.
For two years Wood County Schools have urged the parents of first graders and kindergartners to tie a lime green zip tie around their backpacks, so bus drivers can indicate which students need to be picked up off the bus.
"It's just very important because we don't want little ones to get out in traffic. As they get older they do a little bit of a better job of navigating their trips home, "said Wood County Schools Transportation Director, Todd Bloss.
Approximately 10,000 Wood County students ride a bus to and from school.
In the second part of the series back to school safety we will be taking a look at "safe houses" available to children in emergency situations.