Lake Wildwood kids can get comfy at movie night |

Lake Wildwood kids can get comfy at movie night

More than 100 children ride the buses to and from Lake Wildwood to Williams Ranch and Pleasant Valley schools.

Excluding pre-school, inter-district transfer, high school and home-schooled children, that is still only 25 percent of the LWW children at these two schools who use the bus.

When my son took the bus a number of years ago, I thought it was a gold mine; it was reliable, he enjoyed it, it was safe, and it was free. So I was surprised to see that usage was so low.

First, I checked with the school and learned that there are fewer buses these days, and they aren’t free anymore… I must have missed that somewhere. Now, parents pay $55 per trimester for each child with discounts for more than two children from the same family.

Budget cuts have reduced the total number of buses to two very full buses that pick up local children living outside of LWW before picking up in LWW and going on to the two schools.

More than 35 children catch the bus along Chaparral Circle, so it was easy to find kids to talk to about riding the bus.

I spoke with Makena, Jordan, Jacob, Eli, Jarrod, Chana and Markus. A couple of them said they thought the bus was boring, and several mentioned the high noise level, but overall, they liked taking the bus.

They especially like their driver, Wynette, and commented that she knows them all by name and is very friendly. That was also my experience when my son took the bus; the drivers are committed to the kids and want to help them start their day off right.

Even with the cost, this still looks like a great transportation option.

Any conversation with children about riding the bus quickly leads to what they do after school. Even with “no skateboard or scooter” rules on LWW association property, the children throughout LWW have lots of variety.

Because LWW is so safe, it is easy for kids to gather in neighborhoods; having friends close by and places to meet up seemed the most important.

They like to bike together, explore, and go to the parks to play basketball, soccer and Frisbee. In the summer, they love to swim and fish.

Many wanted a skateboard park in LWW and mentioned starting a petition to present their idea to the board; others have built skate ramps in their own yards. They do try to avoid security and neighbors who complain about their noise.

All of the children I spoke with were polite, animated and very interesting.

The recreation staff at the new community center is always looking for ways to help children get together with their friends in fun and safe ways. One event is movie night on the last Friday of every month at 7:30 p.m. in the Oak Room.

About 25 kids show up, admission is $4, free for children under 5, and the staff has popcorn and treats for sale. The floor space up front by the movie screen is left open so kids can bring futons, blankets and pillows to get comfy.

The March movie will be “Monsters, Inc.” A monthly “teen night” program is in the works and will be announced in the next couple of months.

Got a tip about someone or something in Lake Wildwood or Penn Valley? Contact Shirl Mendonca at

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