Celebrate Walk to School Day

Promote health, safety, and fitness by observing Walk to School Day.

Walk to School Day is a celebration for the community.
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Each October, schools, families, and communities in the U.S. and around the world observe Walk to School Day (and also Walk to School Month). With special events, banners, snacks, and press conferences, supporters aim to spread the message that walking to school benefits kids and their communities too.

Plan a Walk to School Day Event (Easy Version)

Your Walk to School Day plan can be as simple as calling up a neighbor and saying "Let's walk to school together." (Bicycles, roller skates, and scooters work too.) Or, get your child's whole school involved.

It's still pretty easy!

  1. Discuss your plans with the principal and get her approval. The date is already set, but since it's observed all month, you can pick a day that works better for your school community if you need to.
  2. Register your event at the Walk to School Day site so that you'll be counted among the participants (local media might even find you this way and cover your event!).
  3. Get the word out: Post flyers, place an item in the school newsletter, send out an email to school families, simply suggesting that they walk to school on the designated day. Ask the principal to make a reminder announcement the day before, too.
  4. Make posters or banners to welcome participants to school on Walk to School Day. Consider offering healthy snacks, drinks, stickers, or certificates to participants. These are all nice, but not must-haves.
  5. Enjoy your walk!

Plan a Walk to School Day Event (Expert Level)

Want to spread the word farther and wider?

Go bigger with your event. To the above, consider adding higher-profile elements such as:

  • A healthy breakfast to welcome walkers to school (ask local businesses for donations).
  • A guest speaker: Your city's mayor? Your local sports team's mascot? A popular high school coach or a TV news anchor?
  • A press release to spread the word. See Walk to School Day resources for templates and suggestions on how to distribute your announcement.
  • Incorporating the event into teachers' lesson plans. Kids could create posters or maps, calculate and analyze statistics, practice writing letters to the editor, and so on.

Why Observe Walk to School Day?

Walking to school promotes health, fitness, and cleaner air. It also helps make communities safer for pedestrians. Walk to School Day events can even lead to engineering changes, such as new signs, sidewalks, paths, or crosswalks, or new school policies promoting walking. If you think your streets and sidewalks could use improvement, complete a walkability checklist and share the results with civic leaders.

If You Can't Walk to School

Although you'd be surprised at how far kids can walk if you put them to the test, there are some who simply live too far away from school to participate. In that case, plan a walk around the school event instead. Do it at recess, lunchtime, or after school, so kids and families still can reap the benefits of getting some activity, being outside, and being together. Or, pick a meet-up spot a short distance from school and have kids walk or bike together from there.

What if your city or neighborhood is simply unsafe for walking, due to crime or a lack of sidewalks, crosswalks, or crossing guards?

Walk to School Day is the perfect occasion to draw attention to your plight. Visit the National Center for Safe Routes to School for more help, plus the opportunity to apply for grants. Your community may also benefit from a walking school bus (like a carpool, but on foot!).

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