Parents and students organize for safe routes to school in farmworker communities

In June, the Guadalupe Chapter decided to improve transit in this rural town, where many residents commute to Santa Maria for work and school.  Guadalupe has no high school and until recently had limited school bus service to Righetti High School in Santa Maria, causing many youth to walk through the fields before sunrise to get to class on time.  Parents and students organized their neighbors to convince the school district to double the number of bus stops in Guadalupe serving Righetti High School, from two to four.  Now students in Guadalupe have a safer route to advance their education.

At the Villa Victoria farmworker housing in Oxnard, students also lack access to direct school bus service.  Because the affordable housing property was originally built on a busy open road near the outskirts of town with no sidewalk or stoplight, buses couldn’t reach it, putting many of the residents in danger as they walked alongside cars driving 60 miles per hour.  Thanks to years of organizing, city services are being provided to Villa Victoria.  The most recent victory came this November, when students and parents spoke at the Oxnard School District board about the need for school bus service.  The district has agreed to take action and will soon be extending service to Villa Victoria.

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