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Boys and girls add some color to public transit


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Behind the Boys & Girls Club of the Hi-Line, kids were standing and hurling gobs of paint. They weren't aiming for each other, though. The North Central Montana Transit bus that hauled kids to the club over the summer was under attack and nearly covered in bright colors. So, it must be said, were the kids.

"I'm gonna leave it on for a few days," Devyn Solomon said, looking down at her green arms.

Luckily, the paint is washable, and so is the bus. By the time school starts, the rain should have cleaned it back to white, and the Boys & Girls Club members will begin taking public- school buses to the club again. The NCMT bus will be back; this is the first summer it was used to transport club members, and it was an immediate success.

"The kids love the bus," Boys & Girls Club director Tim Brurud said. "I remember hearing one mother tell her child as they were leaving the club that 'we just live a block away, you don't need to ride the bus!'" This year the Boys & Girls Club had its highest summer attendance ever, partly because the bus brings about 30 kids to the club per day.

The driver, Rana Weber, enjoys the trips.

"We sing songs like 'The Little Worm' and the 'Peanut Butter & Jelly song'," she said. "One time, they had bug races, and everybody brought their pet grasshopper."

Kids aren't the only ones who ride the bus, though. The NCMT buses provide free public transportation for Havre and the Hi-Line. The director of NCMT, Jim Lyons, enjoyed watching the kids paint. He hoped the freshly decorated bus would "add a bit of color and fun to the community."

The bus is not the only thing the kids paint.

"Art is a regular club activity," Brurud said. Few people could say, though, that they've covered such a big canvas.

"I'm gonna be an artist some day," Solomon, 9, said as she admired the paintsplattered bus. "That or a veterinarian."

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