Club Rotario donates bus to Two Rivers Community School
Even before the first day of class, Two Rivers Community School heads of school Adriana Ayala-Hire and Rebecca Ruland-Shanahan knew transportation would be a challenge.
Around a dozen students whose parents had been involved from the very beginning were unable to attend the state charter because of the lack of a bus system, and twice-weekly field trips would have to rely on carpooling and Ride Glenwood.
They said as much to the Rotary Club of the Roaring Fork, better known as Club Rotario, in a presentation last fall. The club has spent the time since then looking for a way to help, and on Thursday its members delivered.
Rotary member, former principal and bus driver Cliff Colia pulled the full-size school bus, purchased used from Garfield School District Re-2 and complete with its new school’s name on the side, into the parking lot around noon. After a group picture and ribbon cutting, students swarmed aboard for a quick tour around the neighborhood, accompanied by numerous whoops and honks.
It’s the perfect project for Club Rotario, one of the area’s top organizations for Spanish speakers and other immigrants.
“Our biggest focus is community development and education,” said president Tony Mendez. “This really fits.”
The club is also known for providing thousands of dollars in scholarships, fundraising toward polio eradication worldwide and its annual Festival las Americas in Carbondale.
Two Rivers, for its part, offers a bilingual program and emphasizes multiculturalism. The school leaders also believe in the value of hands-on learning, which makes transportation particularly important.
“I am so grateful,” Ayala-Hire said. “The philosophy of the school is taking the classroom outside the four walls. This school bus is going to help us do that.”
For the time being, the bus will be used only for field trips, with a parent volunteer driving.
The school is planning to purchase another bus with the help of a $25,000 Federal Mineral Lease District grant, and is looking for bus drivers for next school year. One route will serve one far end of Glenwood, and another will run along the I-70 corridor as far west as Silt.
Meanwhile, the school and its grounds in West Glenwood continue to gain amenities, and recently unveiled its mascot — the Falcon/Halcón.
“It’s coming together one piece at a time,” Ruland-Shanahan said.
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