DERBY, Conn. (WTNH) — Fighting truancy and getting kids into class on time, Derby’s “walking school bus” is helping students get excited for the day ahead.

Kids are helping other kids just by knocking on each other’s doors and getting excited for their school day.

“It’s very fun because I have some free time with my friends before I have to go to school and start learning,” said Deja Jackson, from Derby.

These Derby students all make up the walking school bus. And their drivers? They’re all social workers from Irving School in Derby.

The social workers make it their goal to get students to class safely and on time.

“We leave at 8:15, and we walk about a mile route and pick the kids up for school,” said social worker Kaitlyn Siena.

And these “drivers” don’t come empty-handed. They bring warm gloves for kids who don’t have any, and umbrellas on rainy mornings.

“One time, I forgot my umbrella, and it was very windy and rainy. I got an umbrella from them, so it was very convenient,” said Jackson.

For some kids, a knock on the door will get them to hop right on the bus. For others, it’s a 5-minute warning, and the bus picks them up on the way back around the neighborhood.

The walking school bus began eight years ago to fight truancy and help students who had a difficult time making it to school on time at Irving School.

“And it’s worked? And it’s worked! Yeah, so that’s why we’ve continued for all these years,” said Siena.

Families enjoy the service as well.

“The teachers are absolutely wonderful, and it’s just great to have them walk to school instead of getting on the bus,” said Bonnie Jackson, a student’s grandmother.

It’s more than just walking, it’s connecting, and most importantly, it’s making it to school safely and on time.