Teacher's view: why students need a bus
A SCHOOL bus with wheelchair access will give the students at the Bundaberg Special School a vital opportunity to learn.
It is more than just a mode of transportation. It ensures no one is left behind.
Special school junior sector teacher Barb Atkinson spoke with the NewsMail about the school's desperate need for the bus.
She said it was about giving the students real-life experiences and access to the community they may not have without it.
"We have 25 kids in the junior sector and eight of them are wheelchair-bound," she said.
"We used to go on outings weekly - now we are lucky to go out once or twice a term.
"We now need to take our small bus plus four maxi taxis to go anywhere."
The organisation that goes into planning the excursions has become a hindrance.
"It's just more complicated and hard to get everyone out now," Ms Atkinson said.
"The experiences they get from going out is crucial to their learning."
She said next term the students would start their nine-week swimming program, which will be difficult if they can't secure a bus by then.
"It's hard on the children when we have to spilt them up from their friends because of mobility," she said.
"Some students don't understand why they can't go places in the small bus together with their friends."
Ms Atkinson has been teaching at the school for 11 years and said they were used to raising money for smaller things.
But not for something as important as a bus.
"It would just be amazing to go to places like swimming together next term," she said.
"And other places like Bunnings and nurseries and gardens when we work through our garden unit.
"This is the biggest need the school has ever had and definitely the biggest cost."
School principal Sarah Lester said the campaign, which the NewsMail launched yesterday, was off to a flying start with other media organisations and members of the community hopping on board.
To help raise the money needed donations can be to: The Bundaberg Special School Deductible Gift Fund, Commonwealth Bank, BSB 064403, account number 10541346.
Donations are tax deductible and donors should put their surname as the reference.
Alternatively contact the school by emailing admin@bundaberspecs. eq.edu or phoning 4155 5222.