CORONA, CA and FOLSOM, CA and CHOWCHILLA, CA--(Marketwired - Apr 28, 2014) - Over 300 children will be reunited with their mothers and fathers in prison on Saturday, May 3, and Friday, May 9, at four California prisons, through Get On The Bus, a statewide, grassroots program of the nonprofit agency, Center for Restorative Justice Works (CRJW).
Two events on May 3, will feature Mother's Day celebrations at the California Institution for Women (CIW) in Corona, and the women's facility at Folsom State Prison in Represa. The largest event, welcoming 200 children and their caregivers, will be held at the Central California Women's Facility (CCWF) in Chowchilla on May 9. At the same time, an early Father's Day gathering will take place at Valley State Prison, also in Chowchilla.
Get On The Bus provides transportation for children and their guardians from across the state. A year-long fundraising effort by churches and civic organizations provides each child with a chartered bus ride, a travel bag with activities, post stamps to write, and food though out the day. Trained volunteers and therapists for post-event counseling are also on board each bus.
"Every child yearns to feel loved and connected to his or her parents, but children with a parent in prison have a tough time keeping that connection," according to Sister Suzanne Jabro, CSJ, founder of CRJW. "Get On The Bus offers these children the priceless chance for a parent's hug, a family photo, a private conversation," she said, explaining that for many of these children, this will be the first time they've seen their fathers or mothers in many months. Since Get On The Bus began in 2000, thousands of children have been reunited with incarcerated mothers and fathers in California's state and federal prisons, Jabro added.
Last year one 11-year-old said, "I had not seen my dad since I was very small. I thought we'd never be together again. Now I know that I can see him and that he loves me."
Media is invited to cover each event inside the prison from 8 to 1 PM. Press credentials must be requested from the public information officers at each prison:
More at www.getonthebus.us