Sumter County Schools hand out water to bus riders -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Sumter County Schools hand out water to bus riders

By Jay Polk - bio | email

AMERICUS, GA (WALB) – By now, most South Georgians are hoping for some cooler weather. And that includes most of the school children in our area, especially those that have to ride the bus.

And if you think that it's hot outside, you should try riding in an un-air conditioned school bus.

Jazmin Johnson has to do just that.  Every afternoon, the third grader joins her friends on the school bus from Sarah Cobb Elementary School. 

How does she feel when the bus is not air conditioned?  "I think I should bring two bottles of water," she said.

Even though the trip home doesn't take that long for her - about twenty minutes - the heat on the bus can make it feel a lot longer.

And Jazmin is certainly not alone. Many South Georgia school systems have no air conditioned buses. Throughout the region, thousands of students are sweltering on their way home from school.

While some buses are air conditioned, there aren't that many in the Sumter County Schools that are.  So the system is doing something else to keep these students cool during these hot months.

Through the efforts of transportation yard mechanic Mark Harnage the students who ride the buses are getting a little bit of relief.

Dr. R.G. Brooks is the Superintendent of the Sumter County Schools.  He told us what they were doing he said, "we want to provide the youngsters with water."

Handing out water is one way to keep the students healthy during the ride home.

"To make sure that nobody dehydrates," said Dr. Brooks.

And while you may think that water bottles in the hands of more than two dozen kids on a bus would be a bad idea, the kids are enjoying the cool offering.

Lois Battle is a Sumter County School Driver.  She said, "some of them are on the bus that don't have air conditioning for a good little while, so that'll help them out a lot."

While Dr. Brooks is fairly new to the job - he came to Sumter County from Little Rock, Arkansas about a month ago - handing out water on a hot afternoon to keep these students comfortable is part of his main goal.

Dr. Brooks said, "we want to do those kinds of things that would be necessary to bring about a world class school system here."

Even though the school year is young, Jazmin already knows what her favorite subject is.

"Math," she said.

She's hoping that soon the only upper 90s that she sees will be in the classroom.

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