Varnett buses recruited to aid in student enrollment

Varnett’s 14 buses will soon do more than just transport children to and from school.

They will have the added role of being moving billboards that will invite parents to choose Varnett for their children.

Bearing the slogan “Your Child, Your Choice…,” the outreach campaign is designed to inform the public that Varnett is a quality, open-enrollment school that requires no screening for admission.  It also acknowledges that parents do have a choice of schools for their children and that Varnett welcomes them.

The vehicle wraps, designed by Cantu Smith Design, are being applied to the exterior of both sides of the buses and on the rear. It shows colorful pictures of students, Varnett’s contact number (1-888-VARNETT),  web address ( and the National Blue Ribbon School emblem awarded to Varnett in 2010 for high student achievement. The wraps along the passenger windows will allow about 50 percent visibility for bus riders. The view for the bus drivers will be unimpeded.

“People already see our phone number on the side of the buses, but the wraps will provide more information about what we are about – the children,” said Alsie Cluff, III, assistant operations coordinator.

Platino Media, a Houston-based, full-service marketing agency, is doing the work and Mr. Cluff said he anticipates  the entire project will be completed by May 31, in time for Field Day at the Southwest campus. Mr. Cluff spearheaded the project as Dr. M. Annette Cluff, the district’s superintendent, discussed ways to increase the school’s visibility. The changes come as the school year winds down and before the start of the 2013-14 school year when many parents face difficult decisions about where to send their children to school.

“This is very original display,” Mr. Cluff said of the banners.  “I haven’t seen any other school that utilizes this type of vehicle advertising.” The banners welcome Spanish-speaking parents to consider Varnett as well.

The perforated vinyl with an adhesive back that sticks to the window has another benefit. "It makes the bus cooler," one driver said.

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