The Jeuns

Electric school buses introduced in Minneapolis, students advocating for their implementation take inaugural ride

April 11, 2024 | by The Jeuns

Fifth-grade students at Whittier International Elementary School in Minneapolis recently had the opportunity to take a ride on one of the new electric school buses that the district purchased in response to a letter-writing campaign organized by the students themselves.

Superintendent Lisa Sayles Adams emphasized the importance of sustainability, stating that traditional diesel-powered buses are not the future of transportation. With the help of an Environmental Protection Agency grant from its Clean School Bus Program and Highland Electric Fleets, the district was able to acquire two electric buses, with more on the way thanks to additional funding.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Commissioner Katrina Kessler highlighted the positive impact that these electric buses will have on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and contributing to the state’s goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

The students at Whittier International Elementary School are encouraged to take action to make the world a better place through their curriculum. As part of a lesson on reducing fossil fuel usage and combating climate change, students wrote letters urging the district to invest in electric buses.

During a press event, student Luis Obando read aloud his heartfelt letter explaining the importance of transitioning to electric buses for the environment and future generations. Superintendent Sayles Adams praised the students for their well-researched letters and commitment to making a difference.

After the speeches were done, the students finally had the chance to experience riding on the electric bus they had advocated for. Excitement filled the air as they embarked on their ride, with one student eagerly calling their parent to share the news of their eco-friendly journey.

The initiative taken by the students at Whittier International Elementary School highlights the importance of youth activism and environmental awareness in creating a cleaner and more sustainable future.


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