THE WHEELS ON THE BUS GO ROUND AND ROUND….
Last updated 4/25/2018 at 10:25am
There’s something hopeful and endearing to see the big yellow school bus rumbling along a lonesome desert highway carrying smiling children to their oases of learning, their schools.
In our rural and sprawling district (covering at least 200 sq. miles) there would be no school without the big yellow bus. But one place you do not see our Borrego Springs Unified School buses is climbing up the grade or leaving town via other routes for out-of-town field trips. This is because our buses are too old to make the trek.
For our isolated school community, experiences outside of our town are vital for learning. The majority of our students would never wiggle their toes in the ocean or visit museums and the Zoo in San Diego if it were not for field trips, but these must be done via expensive private coaches, which means not very often.
BSUSD currently has five buses; the newest one purchased in 2002. It is 16 years old.
You might be wondering why the California Department of Education doesn’t give us funding to purchase new buses.
When the economy collapsed in 2007, State funding for transportation was eliminated. Even though our State economy has recovered, this funding has not been restored by the California Department of Education. Affluent districts turned to charging parents to send their children to school via the yellow school bus. This is not possible in our low socio-economic community.
The indomitable Bill and Jinny Wright caught wind of this school bus need and met with BSUSD Superintendent Mark Stevens who shared that the cost of a new school bus is approximately $135,000. Stevens vowed to match $65,000 raised by the community. Bill and Jinny decided to take this challenge on, and wow did they with a vengeance!
For anyone attending Rotary’s Taste of Borrego at the end of January (and thank you all very much as Rotary raised over $20,000 for our community projects) you witnessed the spontaneous call for a new school bus!
Orchestrated by Bill and Jinny, the phone calls started coming in as well as audience donations and before the evening was over $49,000 had been raised for the big yellow school bus. This was IN ADDITION to the $20,000 raised earlier in the evening. It was a wild and crazy night of fund raising fueled by the incredible generosity and benevolence of this community.
Not satisfied until the complete $65,000 is raised, Bill and Jinny placed an ad in the last edition of the Borrego Sun and this generated another few thousand dollars donated.
We now sit at $57,640 with a goal of $65,000.
BSUSD cannot thank you all enough for your amazing kindness from the $40 donation to the $6500. Our goal is to raise the balance before our Middle School and High School Social Study classes take a trip to the Holocaust Museum in Los Angeles in late May.
We can’t wait to see them heading out for this life changing field trip in our shiny, new yellow school bus funded largely by many of you!
Donations can be made to the Borrego Springs Rotary and sent to Martha Deichler PO Box 2356, Borrego Springs, California.
– Martha Deichler