International Walk to School Day (iWalk)
The first Wednesday in October is designated Walk to School Day, the first week is Walk to School Week and October is International Walk to School Month. As an international awareness event, iWalk celebrates active travel to and from school by encouraging students to walk or bike between home and school in the month of October.
Even if children aren’t used to walking or biking to school, this is a chance to learn a new route, find other kids in the neighbourhood to walk with, or find a new routine to make the active choice the easy choice both in October and beyond.
School Health Promotion Kit (iWalk)
Canada got a D grade on the The ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth in 2015 for active transportation, which includes walking and cycling. The report also found that school aged children (5 to 17 year olds) in Canada are not getting the recommended 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity activity per day. Walking and wheeling (biking) are great ways to exercise and it is well known that students who walk or wheel to school arrive alert and ready to learn.
A school can promote this awareness day/week/month with promotional documents, such as newsletter inserts, assembly ideas and announcements, which are available on the Active and Safe Routes to School website. http://www.activesaferoutes.ca/resources/walking-and-wheeling-campaign-resources/
School Travel Planning (STP)
Creating a school travel plan encourages active transportation to and from school. An action plan will build upon strengths and work to remove concerns in your school and surrounding community.
5 Step Process
Set Up – introduce STP to school community and start STP school committee
Collect Baseline data – surveys, walkabouts and traffic counts
Develop Action Plan – identify strengths and concerns and plan actions to target school-specific concerns related to active transportation e.g. no bike rack
Carry Out Action Plan – STP Committee takes action to address concerns and update action plan as needed
Evaluation – collect follow-up data to track progress and celebrate along the way
Contact your school nurse for more information or to register your school.