By Joel Hillan
HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (CBS4) – It’s back to school time for hundreds of thousands of Colorado families, and a program called Schoolpool is helping connect parents in the state. It makes it easier on them, while at the same time makes the roads around schools safer.
Heather Burkhardt has three kids to get to and from school each day. She picks up a couple of extra kids on the way some days, and that keeps her from having to drive other days.
“Just being new to the state, we thought it was probably a good way to meet people and simplify our life,” Heather said.
Her son Chase is a 7th Grader at Stem School Highlands Ranch and he sees benefits from it, too.
“I like it because I’ve met a couple of new friends from it and I just think it’s pretty convenient,” he said.
Chase also told CBS4 that the friendships extend outside of the car, into the classroom and after school as well.
More than 100 Colorado schools already participate in the program. Celeste Stagard from the Denver Regional Council of Governments says this is making it easier for parents to connect with each other.
“When you’re a parent and your school is enrolled in Schoolpool you receive a letter and it tells you, ‘Oh look, there are seven families in my neighborhood and we all go to the same school, let me reach out to them,’ and then immediately you can identify what days work for you, who’s going to be on dropoff, who’s going to be on pickup and it really fosters community.”
Participating schools tell CBS4 this has reduced traffic around their campuses, making it safer for other students who choose to walk or bike to school. In a growing state with more and more destination charter schools, traditional buses are not feasible. Schoolpool is one way Colorado parents are working together to solve that problem.
To help your school get involved in Schoolpool, visit the Find Your Smart Commute section of CBSDenver.com.