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VILLA PARK : Kiddie Commute a Fun Way to Learn

October 15, 1994|BILL BILLITER

Bumper to bumper, the traffic inched forward. But these drivers said they loved the gridlock. And they also said they got a kick out of being behind the wheel.

"I've waited a long time to have my own car," said Katie Branstine, 5, as she walked her make-believe auto, painted black and white to look like a Dalmatian dog.

Not far away, Kelsey Wood, 5, with a big smile on her face, gleefully steered her cardboard motorcycle. "I like it 'cuz it goes fast!" she exclaimed.

The scene Friday morning was the Transportation Parade at Serrano Elementary School for kindergarten and first-grade students. First-graders, dressed as firefighters and police, were grand marshals. Kindergarten students walked around inside homemade planes, trains and automobiles.

The colorful parade included a Batmobile, Santa's sleigh, several school buses and a mail truck.

"This is the culmination of our transportation study," teacher Diana Larsen said. "We're showing the children how important transportation is. And we've also been teaching them safety."

Christy Covington, another teacher whose students took part in the parade, said parents helped make the fanciful vehicles. "This is a wonderful way for the students to learn safety rules, including school bus safety," she said.

Many parents stood on the sidelines and applauded as the children marched around the school grounds. Occasionally, some of the kiddie vehicles bumped together, producing giggles from the tiny drivers.

Batmobile driver Thomas Neal, 5, from time to time bumped into the airplane piloted by Steven Peterson, also 5. No one crashed, however, and both drivers seemed in high spirits.

Why did Thomas pick a Batmobile? "'Cuz I like it!" he exclaimed. And what did Steven think was significant about his airplane? "It's red, white and blue like the American flag," he beamed.

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