Neighborhood schools: Walk-to-School Day

In 1997, the Partnership for a Walkable America sponsored the first Walk Our Children to School Day in Chicago as a day to bring community leaders and children together to create awareness of the need for communities to be walkable.

By 2002, children, parents, teachers and community leaders around the country joined walkers around the world for the second International Walk to School Day. Last year about 8,000 students participated in Oregon.

Schools can register and see who is participating, as well as get ideas for Walk to School Day.
Here are some starter ideas:

  • Form “walking school buses” groups of children who walk designated routes to school under adult supervision, picking up other students along the way just like a bus. 
  • Plan a walk-to-school parade.
  • Invite elected officials, parents and children to meet in a specific neighborhood or several different neighborhoods at a designated point and walk to school together. Make it an event that involves the community, public officials and the media. 
  • Make signs for walkers to carry; show the community and the media what you’re doing. 
  • Work with other groups that care about children being able to safely bike and walk to school. 
  • Dedicate recess, physical education or other classes to getting out and walking together. 
  • Greet walkers at your school with stickers, gifts and refreshments.
  • Have students keep track of all the miles they walk or bike to earn prizes and work toward a schoolwide goal.

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