Despite the ugly weather, groups of parents and their children attended the 11th annual "K-Day" event Thursday morning at Walton Farm Elementary.
The program aims to familiarize kindergarten-aged children with riding a school bus, as well as the potential hazards associated with mounting and dismounting the vehicle.
"What we're doing today is taking the children out on a school bus ride around the neighborhood, so they get used to the sounds of the school bus, the air brakes, and the way the bus rides," said Marianne Cleary, North Penn School District's transportation coordinator.
Throughout the trip, a second bus driver serves as a narrator, explaining the safety rules such as the importance of staying seated and keeping your head and arms inside the bus.
Upon their return, the students receive additional instruction.
"When they come back, we take them around a couple of buses that we've staged," said Cleary. "We've marked the danger zones with red carpets, and that's the most important thing the children will learn today: where the danger zones are located."
Once finished with instruction at the staging area, the parents and children attended a screening of a movie, which reinforces the safety lessons from earlier in the morning. Afterward, the kids get a few gifts and some snacks, though many children seemed eager to go for another ride.
"We try to make it fun for the kids, and take the fear away from riding the bus," said Cleary, who added that nearly 7,000 students have attended the program during its 11-year history.
It's not all about the kids, though, as many parents are also nervous when it comes to ushering their child off to their first day of school.
"It's as much for the parents as it is for the children," said Cleary. "Parents are very anxious about putting their children on the bus for the first time, so we like to remind parents that school bus drivers are the most highly trained drivers on the road."