Future kindergarteners needing to know what to do when they get on the school bus can thank Meggie Norton.
The precocious six-year-old was recognized at the Westford School Committee meeting on last week for her role in developing “Rules on the Bus,” a set of behavioral rules for safe school bus travel for younger children set to a song.
Meggie’s song was born out of her desire to ride on the full length bus in her first year at the Miller School, just like her eight-year-old brother Charlie.
At first, it seemed as though Meggie would have to ride in the Special Education van per the School Department’s recommendations due to the 40 minute ride, but her mom Kathy was determined to help her daughter’s dream come true.
“While I have nothing against the van, I considered it our “back-up plan,” said Kathy. “It was Meggie’s dream to ride the bus, and I didn’t want to disappoint her.”
With the help of preschool teacher Stacey Southard, Meggie, Charlie and their parents developed a set of three rules: before leaving preschool that was eventually turned into a song Rick Burch: a friend of the family and owner of Rumpus Records in Overland Park, KS.
Eventually, Overland Park early-childhood special education specialist and music therapist Anne Meeker Miller discovered the song and worked with local photographer Kyle Gendron to create the book, which is expected to go on sale in March.
In the meantime, the book will be used for children facing similar challenges in Kansas and Meggie will continue her obsession with “Rules of the Bus” that began her demand for continual loops of the song at the beginning of each day as she prepared for the school year.
“By the time school started, Meggie knew to ‘listen to the driver, stay in your seat, and use indoor voices,” said Karen. “And it’s still her favorite song!”
As the school year draws to a close, so far Meggie has been able to ride the bus without any behavioral incidents.