International Walk to School Day 2010

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October 6th is International Walk to School Day. It is an annual event when children across the world walk or bike to school. It is a fun way to raise awareness about how walk-able a community is and where improvements can be made. It also encourages physical activity by teaching children safe walking behaviors, such as how to cross streets.

This year the Making Kane County Fit for Kids is encouraging all schools in Kane County to participate in International Walk to School Day. The Making Kane County Fit for Kids Funder’s Consortium is making available to each Kane County school district $1,000 to help support activities related to International Walk to School Day.  Additionally, the Funders’ Consortium will provide $250 to each school’s Parent Teacher organization that participates. There are many different ways for schools to be involved. Some ideas for events are:

Walking School Bus

Log Miles Walked

  • Children log miles walked each day and have a chance to win a prize
  • Completion can be among classrooms or schools

Bike Trains

  • A bike train is like a walking school bus, except students ride their bikes to schools
  • Children should know bike safety rules and wear a helmet

Alternative Drop-offs

  • For students that live too far away to walk or bike to school, have an alternative drop-off location
  • A good drop-off location should be big enough to allow safe drop-offs, be close to the school, and have safe sidewalks connecting to the school

Walk and Bike Across America

  • Students keep track of the distance they walked and biked to school
  • The distance the whole class traveled during the week is plotted on a map
  • The class “travels” to a destination chosen by the class within those miles

Poster Contest

  • Have children create a poster about pedestrian safety or best biking practices

Have Students Take Photos on the Walk

  • Purchase disposable cameras so children can photograph the school route from their point of view

Hold An Assembly

  • Have speakers on safe walking and biking
  • Have local dignitaries attend to emphasize the importance of physical activity

Including Children with Disabilities

  • Plan walking/wheeling or other physical activities on school grounds if the school route is unsafe or inaccessible
  • For children taking the bus, plan in advance to have the school bus drop off children 1-2 blocks from school. A school official can walk/wheel with the children to school.