Tuesday, September 30, 2014

October 8th is National Walk to School Day


Put on your walking shoes and take a stroll to school with your children on Wednesday, October 8, 2014 for National Walk to School Day.  Whether your children already walk to school each day or they are driven or ride a bus, National Walk to School Day is something everyone can participate in.  Devote yourself that morning to invest in some quality parenting time talking with your children while you walk with them to school which also provides an encouraging message about engaging in physical activity for the kids and demonstrates support for safe walkable communities.  According to the National Center for Safe Routes to School, which organizes this annual event, the goal is to increase awareness and support with parents, community influencers, and government officials regarding accessibility and safety issues involving allowing children to bike or walk to school by getting a mass number of people doing it at one given time.

If your child normally takes the bus or is driven to school you can still participate by taking them a few blocks from school and walking the remainder of the way with them that day or participating in a specific gathering of parents and students being organized by your school.  My kids' school with the support of the PTA  is encouraging parents to bring their kids to a park that is a half mile away from the building and having everyone walk together that morning to classes as one big group.  If you haven't heard from your school about this event give them a call or CLICK HERE to see if your school district has listed any activities on the National Walk to School Day website.  This website has a national map where you can search by state and city for local programs taking place on October 8. My home state of Michigan for example lists 289 events taking place, although my kids school isn't included on that list so if you have time calling your own school directly would probable be more dependable.

What is the emphasis for holding this event? Well according to the National Center for Safe Routes to School 66% of the communities that participated in National Walk to School Day in 2013 indicated the event had an impact on making a policy change or engineering improvement that made walking or biking to school either safer or more convenient for students. A majority of schools participating though gave the primary reason for being involved as an educational opportunity to get parents attention toward addressing obesity prevention for their children.  Whether its policy makers or parents the goal of this event is to grab people's attention and try to use that to make positive changes.

So what are the goals for this year's event? 

INCREASE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY - walking and bicycling are great ways to foster a healthy lifestyle for students and families.  Even if you can't walk or bike to school every day if this one day can encourage parents and students to do these activities more frequently that would have positive health benefits for families.

ENCOURAGE SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO IMPLEMENT FORMAL SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL PROGRAMS -  These SRTS programs help make walking and bicycling to school safer and a more appealing option often compared to communities that don't have a sustained effort and plan.

IMPROVING SAFETY FOR WALKING & BIKING - providing education, changes to physical environment, increasing police involvement, and slowing traffic around routes to school are policy and infrastructure changes this event can impact.

So lace up those shoes and get walking on October 8th.  Our family will be walking for National Walk to School Day! Will you join us?!

For more information visit: www.walkbiketoschool.org


  1. I was just listening to a spot on the radio in which it stating that kids that walk to school do better in school due to the exercise!! Great post!

    Sarah Muennix

  2. I didn't even know that this day existed. What a great idea!

  3. I never knew there was such a thing. . however where I live if my kids had to walk they wouldn't get there until school was over. Perks of country living.