Creating School Bus Stars

If you’ve ever wondered how to become a school star, Minnesauke Elementary School from East Setauket, NY, knows the answer. For more than two years school educators have taught students to be Sharing, Trustworthy, Accepting, Respectful, and Serving (S.T.A.R.S.). Last year, their program was selected for the 2015 United Against Bullying Grant. In December, two Safe Fleet brands, Seon and Fire Research Corp. (FRC), visited Minnesauke Elementary School in Three Village Central School District, to reward their educational team for the amazing work and presented the grant award for the development and expansion of their anti-bullying initiatives.

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Mike Bismeyer, Sales Manager - Transit Division at Seon, and Lisa A. Radesco, Human Resource Manager, FRC, explained to the students how Safe Fleet and its brands started the United Against Bullying campaign and how important it is for young people to be involved.

“We believe that you guys are making a difference every day, whether you know it or not. It’s the little things that matter; it’s about being nice and kind,” said Bismeyer. “And we want you to remember, that no matter what you do every day, you are leaving an impression on somebody else. When you are not so nice people remember that, when you are nice people remember that more. Thanks for doing a great job spreading a positive message.”

Bismeyer also told students that from August 1st until October 15th, 2015, Safe Fleet and its subsidiaries held the United Against Bullying Grant competition, receiving over 65 applications from school transportation departments across the United States and Canada. Minnesauke Elementary School’s program immediately attracted the Selection Committee’s attention through its focus on education of both students and school bus drivers.

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When submitting an application for the UAB Grant, Leia Woodruff, LMSW, School Social Worker, wrote:
“With the introduction of our STARS program 2 years ago we have seen a decrease in behavior referrals to the main office. However, the majority of behavior infractions continue to occur on our school buses. We would like to work together with bus drivers and students and implement a rewards system on the bus. We want to catch our students shining like STARS on the bus and promote good character.”

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At the end of the presentation, Mike Bismeyer and Lisa A. Radesco presented the school with an anti-bullying kit, student prizes, and a $1,000 cheque – the grant award for the expansion of the school’s anti-bullying program. Leia Woodruff, who is managing the STAR program since the beginning, will work with students and school staff to develop events and rewards encouraging students’ positive behavior, as well as a school bus driver training to prevent incidents of bullying on board the school bus.

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“Safe Fleet and its brands are dedicated to keeping kids safe by manufacturing cameras and stop-arms for school buses, emergency doors and roof hatches, while also helping school communities to implement their best initiatives and ideas,” says Lisa A. Radesco. “As a mom of two school-age students myself, I know about importance of anti-bullying education at an early age. Minnesauke Elementary School has already proved that if you care you can make a difference. Our team is glad to support their great program and to make their dreams come true.”