Retired bus driver writes book to prepare kids for first school bus ride
Published Friday, August 10, 2018 10:26PM ADT
A retired school bus driver in southern New Brunswick has started a new chapter of her life -- based on her previous life.
She's now a children's author who’s written a book, using her time behind the wheel as inspiration.
Cheryl Addison of Quispamsis remembers back in 2004 when a little girl on the bus asked her a simple question that started the wheels turning.
She didn't know what an aisle was.
“I realized then that she had been missing that for two years and we say that thousands of times per year, stay out of the aisle,” Addison said. “What else were children missing?”
The book, called My First School Bus Ride was illustrated by Sonya MacAskill and features a smiling cartoon Cheryl on the front.
Inside, kids will find activities, such as filling in what time they need to leave to catch their school bus or drawing a picture of who’ll be meeting them when they get dropped off at the end of the day.
“It’s important they know who is coming to pick them up and not to get off the bus until they recognize who is there for them,” Addison said.
That first ride on a school bus can be a bit of an overwhelming experience for kids and this book is meant to make that a little bit easier by teaching them how it all works.
It was almost two years ago that Addison retired.
It's clear she cared a lot about her former passengers and it appears that was a two-way street.
“One child one year saw that other children were giving things and she decided she would make her own present up,” said Addison. “(She) gave me a pencil, a little plastic frog and her favourite blanket and wrapped it with tape all around a little bag and I put it under my Christmas tree every year and it’s been 10 years.”
A homemade Christmas card from some high schoolers is on display in her home, as is a framed copy of her book, the product of her 20-plus years behind the wheel of a big yellow school bus.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Lyall.