GAIS Carpooling Stories
Carpooling with the Ashaer Family
My name is Katrin Ashear, and I have two ES children. Our recent move to RWC meant we needed to arrange new carpool opportunities and this is what we came up with: Almost every morning we alternate carpooling with a friend from first grade and on the way home we can sometimes include even two more kids from our new neighborhood. So usually we are 3-5 kids in the car, saving 1-2 moms a trip to school.
Carpooling is a wonderful opportunity to strengthen our friendship with the parents of the carpool kids, it saves time and sets an excellent example for saving resources, and most importantly it signals to the GAIS neighbors that we do whatever we can to reduce the traffic impact on their streets.
School-Bus “Smith Family”
“School bus to GAIS departing momentarily… whoever is not buckled by the time I count to 5 doesn’t get a tic-tac!” The five kids in my carpool, 3 fifth graders Dana, Randy, Sofia, and 2 second graders, Colin and Eva, are buckled in no time, and off we go, three times a week in this constellation.
There are many reasons why one could carpool. Selfishness being only one of them. I haven’t sat down to calculate how much gas I save, but not having to deal with the agony of driving on 101 during rush hour, the time saved and the opportunity for the kids to practice their spelling words on the way to school before a quiz are enough reason for me!
Our family (Christian, Heike and Alexander Rees (3rd grade)) has been carpooling since Vorschule with several families. We carpool every day in the morning with one family and after school with two other families. On a regular basis, there are up to 10 children involved at different times. At one point, we even had arrangements with five families to get the kids to and from school and soccer practice. It takes some effort and lots of communication to set up and make a carpool work, but the benefits are absolutely worth it!
- Sabine Dillon and Indra Pachtner
- My kids: Karina (6th grade) and Jack Dillon (2nd grade)
- We carpool every day with the Pachtner family. Each Mom drives ones a day, some days even twice a day because of the older kid’s later school schedule.
- We have six children in our carpool, Timmy (VS), Romy (3rd grade), Jack (2nd grade), Karina, Antonia and Marie (6th grade).
It is sometimes challenging to co-ordinate the schedule of 6 kids in the age range of 5-13yrs after school. Since both families live in San Mateo, we are challenged to do pick-up all at once, as it doesn’t make sense to drive back and forward between San Mateo and Menlo Park for extracurricular activities and play dates. Our children not only share carpooling together, but we also do play dates, sleep overs, go together to horseback riding lessons (where we carpool again), or do have an entire afternoon with piano lessons for 5 out of the 6 children. Our carpool has even extended to an international level, where Indra took my daughter Karina with her on a flight to Munich so she could visit with her Grandma, while I wasn’t available for travel due to work.
On rare occasions we don’t carpool, like teacher conferences, or first day of school and the children are usually very disappointed and say it’s boring driving to school without their friends. While it sometimes can become loud and hectic in the car, most of the time it is so much fun to share stories, kids reading to each other or practicing a performance or presentation with each other. The input you hear is priceless. Of course the kids will talk about school issues, things they look forward too, teachers who had some mishappenings or were “mean” today and of course the kids at school who misbehaved and had to go to the dean’s office. It is quiet entertaining, and often we sing and have fun. As the Christmas time is approaching, of course we will have a German Christmas CD in the car and the kids will sing to that…until we can’t listen to it anymore….
Besides the priceless friendship effect the carpool had on our lives, we safe tremendous travel time, gasoline, wear and tear on the car, occupy fewer parking spots at school and we do something right for our precious environment. One turn-around trip from our home to the school and back to our home is at best 1 hour often due to traffic, parking, sign-ins etc. more 1.5 hr. If I had to do this twice a day, I would lose an entire workday for each week.
An interesting aspect I want to mention is that since we have carpooled since 2005, both families have moved to different homes. Each time our families were contemplating moving to a different home, it was understood without saying that the next home had to be close to our carpool proximity, so we could continue our wonderful carpool friendship.
As there are many stories we could share about our carpool, we are tremendously grateful and lucky to have found such a wonderful family and friends, to share travel time to school and so much more. We are looking forward to continue our carpool with our Pachtner friends for a long time to come and we and our children will treasure the friendships we have found through the carpool for a lifetime.
My name: Laura Vaughan
My children: Sam, Reid & Tate
How many times per week do I carpool: 5
How many different families participate in my carpool: 4
How many different kids participate in my carpool (including my own): 8 boys
Mein Name ist Sandra Gerber und ich habe zwei Buben, Simon (10 Jahre alt) und David (8 Jahre alt), in der 4. und 3. Klasse der GAIS. Wir “carpoolen” auf jedem Hinweg zur Schule, zum Fussballtraining meiner beiden Jungs und wieder für den Heimweg. Wir “carpoolen” mit vier verschiedenen Familien, wovon 8 Kinder jeweils mit uns mitfahren (natürlich nicht alle gleichzeitig).
Getting creative with a carpool – Graf Family
We have 2 kids at GAIS, Paul in 4th grade and Tommy in 1st and live in Redwood City. My husband and I both work for a German company, so most of our calls and meetings happen in the morning. Dropping the kids off at school in the morning takes me more than an hour so I could not be in the office before 9am. So it was clear that a carpool would make my life much easier.
In the afternoon I pick up my kids and sometimes we carpool with another family if our kids have playdates or share an activity.
There are many things people can do for each other in exchange for carpool such as run errands, watch the kids, walk a dog, bake a cake or cook dinner. You just need to find a family to drive with and get creative!
Carpooling Facts of the Furlan Family:
Name: Diane Furlan
My children: Aimee and Linnea Furlan
Times I drive in carpool = three times; The carpool itself runs every morning and smaller variations of our usual morning carpool take place in the afternoon due to the kids’ various after-school activities.
Four families participate in the carpool.
Five kids get shuttled about in the carpool.
Details of the Oste Family – Carpooling System
My name: E. Oste
My child(ren): Alissa + Fiona
How many times per week do I carpool: every day
How many different families participate in our carpool: 2 Families, but 3 housholds
How many different kids participate in our carpool (including your own): 6
2. One time when my carpool saved me: every morning !
3. Funniest carpool story: my daughter Alissa loves to read and she reads Harry Potter to the other kids, while we are driving.
4. Tip(s) for a parent considering a carpool: get to know other parents and children
5. Why carpooling totally makes sense: time and cost efficient
6. What you save by carpooling and how much: 1 hour every time I don’t drive!