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How to Celebrate Walk to School Day

Expert Tips from Three Physical Education Teachers

October 7 is International Walk to School Day—this is a great opportunity for students, teachers, staff, and parents to get moving together!

Many of the schools we work with engage local police departments for street crossing, sponsors to provide healthy snacks, and community members to join in the fun of International Walk to School Day! Want to borrow one of their creative ideas?

Involve the Community

From Melissa Conteras in Fresno, CA:
Sanger Unified School District has been celebrating this day for more than 10 years and participation has grown to nearly 1,800 students! Students from the elementary, middle, junior high, and high schools gather at a central location at 6 a.m. to kick-off the day with dancing and a pep talk from the mayor. Sponsors provide hand-held flashlights for participants who are up before the sun and the Sanger Unified food service staff provide a healthy breakfast. Some students walk more than two miles to school with local police and firefighters helping block off busy streets along the way. 

Learn more about Sanger Unified’s efforts to promote physical activity.

Provide Incentives for Participation

From Sherry Crawford in Overland Park, KS:
Bentwood Elementary School hosts eight walk to school days throughout the school year, including a walking school bus on International Walk to School Day. Students who participate receive small incentives such as reflective bracelets to wear on their wrists or tokens that they can put on their backpacks to show their support. The distance students walk varies, but even those who live far from school can participate by having their parents drop them off at a central meeting point so they can walk to school with their friends. Last year, the school had more than 150 students participate in just one of their walk to school days!

Extend the Walking Fun Throughout the Year

From Dawn Freeman in Pryor, OK:
At Lincoln Elementary School students don’t walk to school once or twice a year, but are encouraged to participate weekly through “Walking Wednesdays.” Parents drop students off at a designated location so they can walk together and kick-start their “hump day.” Older students don crossing guard attire and hold stop signs for younger students to safely make their way to school. Just last week 30 students and three teachers participated! Students can also count their morning miles towards the 100 Mile Club and if they arrive at school early, they can join their peers on the track to add to their mileage totals.

Move one of these ideas into action for International Walk to School Day this Wednesday! Share your plans to get walking on Facebook or Twitter with hashtag #WalktoSchool.

Keep the momentum going by letting the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program be your guide to creating a healthier school…enroll your school.

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