Buster, a talking school bus, is a remote-controlled vehicle similar in size to shopping cart, visited Greenwood Primary School to teach kindergartners about school bus safety.

Recently, kindergartners at Greenwood Primary were introduced to school bus safety with a visit from Buster the Bus.

Buster, a talking school bus, is a remote-controlled vehicle similar in size to shopping cart. It can maneuver around the classroom and talk to the students about school bus safety. By moving around, Buster is able to grab students' attention while also providing information clearly enough for a 5-year-old to comprehend.

"Buster helps the students to learn to be safe on and around a bus," said Greenwood principal Scott Aten. "Since most of the students have not been on a bus before, this is a new experience for them."

Buster visited the gym at Greenwood Primary and after Aten and transportation secretary Faith Weber set the stage, Weber roused a "sleeping" Buster from the side hall.

As soon as Buster rolled out onto the gym floor and moved around, the students snapped to attention. Weber carried on a conversation with Buster and asked all sorts of questions. In return, Buster responded with blinking eyes and flashing lights as he answered the questions.

Bus driver Deb Pompeo provided Buster's voice and also operated the remote control that moved the bus around the gym to interact with students.

The day's agenda included issues such as crossing in front of the bus, always staying in places of safety around the bus, being alert, and most importantly, staying out of the "danger zone."

Buster informed students that the danger zone is defined as any place the bus driver cannot see a student. Students were reminded that there are many areas where a driver cannot see them and that there is never a good reason to be in one of these places on or around a bus.

"This is an exceptional program for teaching bus safety to our younger students," said Transportation Director Glenna Romine. "The Ohio Department of Education requires us to offer a bus safety class within 10 days of the start of school. Buster is a fun and effective way to do this."

The students were entranced by the sight of the bright yellow school bus as it maneuvered around them and answered questions. They responded enthusiastically to Weber's questions and at the end of the program they all joined in to sing the "The Wheels On The Bus Go Round a And Round," with modified lyrics related to safety. They came away from the assembly with a better understanding of school bus safety that will hopefully avert and accidents or tragedies as they daily go back and forth from school.