CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Charlottesville is still dealing with a bus driver shortage, and more kids are walking to school.

University of Virginia students are helping out by joining a new program called Walking Bus. They walk Clark Elementary students to school three times a week.

They pick up the students near the Friendship Court apartments and walk about 20 minutes to school.

Clark teachers started the program, and then they reached out to UVA’s volunteer center Madison House for help.

Madison House Fellow Hannah Rollins said that volunteers are not only helping solve a transportation and safety issue, but they are also providing role models and friends for the kids to talk to on their morning trip.

"We started to know each other’s names and what we do over the weekend. So, it's just been really nice to make those relationships with younger students, especially as an education major. Not only does it bridge the UVA and Charlottesville community, but it also helps the students of Clark elementary,” Rollins said.

She added that the program has also made the volunteers closer and therefore better at their jobs.

Madison House jumped in quickly to help out Clark, and it's always accepting more volunteers for the program. It hopes to add the program to Venable Elementary this spring.