It was a Saturday morning – their day off — but after working all week a group of bus drivers from Cheyenne, Wyo., came together to help a special needs student by building a wheelchair ramp at his home.
Week after week, these education support professionals — bus drivers and support staff — transport children to and from school safely. But even when they aren’t transporting kids, they’re thinking about what they can do to make a child’s life better.
This was the third such ramp members of WEA #1, Laramie County School District #1 transportation workers, have built this year.
Bus Driver Gene Brooks noticed that a single mother of a special needs student was struggling to get her son, in a wheelchair, up and down the five steps into their home. He contacted his colleague, Tom Skinner, who had already built two ramps this school year. “We enjoy doing this, helping people,” said Skinner.
Eight members of the transportation department spent about six hours building the ramp. They collected money from their colleagues to pay for the materials, which they bought from LOWES at cost.
Renee LuMay is an assistant on the special needs bus. “It’s real neat to see folks get together and be willing to do this. It makes me real happy to see my co-workers pull together.” said LuMay.
Nick Anastasiou brought his son to work on the project. “There are other things I could be doing at home, but these folks, don’t have the expertise (to build the ramp),” said Anastasiou. “If more people did what we do.. it would be a lot better world,” he added.
Tom Skinner helped pour cement for the project. “We enjoy it,” he said. “Everybody has a good time. We eat a lot of pizza and drink a lot of…. no beer,” he joked.
Lisa Brock, the mother of the student in the wheelchair, was overwhelmed by the ESPs’ assistance.
“It’s a blessing,” she said. “Because after a while you get to think people don’t care, they’re just cold hearted. But when you got people that will actually go out of their way to do something they really don’t have to do, it makes a difference.”
Story courtesy of the Wyoming Education Association