Special Events

International Walk to School Day at Early Childhood Center 61, Buffalo, New York.

International Walk to School Day at Edgecombe Elementary, Baltimore, Maryland.

International Walk to School Day at McCarthy Teszler School, Spartanburg, South Carolina.

A special event is usually a one-day activity to celebrate walking and bicycling to school. Most often, families walk or bicycle from home or from a group meeting area. Signs, balloons and banners can be used to create an air of excitement and celebration. When they arrive at the school, participants might be greeted by the school principal or a school mascot and receive snacks and small gifts like stickers. A press conference, songs, flag salute or other group activity round out the event.

Volunteers help plan the event, walk with children and give out items at the school. These events offer the added benefits of bringing visibility to SRTS and related issues as well as educating families and the broader community about the benefits and joy of walking and bicycling safely to school. They may be held once a year, such as International Walk to School Day, or several times during the year.

Find out more about:

Strategy: Special event

Description

  • Specially designated day when families walk or bicycle to school.
  • May include a group walk from a designated meeting point; healthy snacks; giveaways for children; an assembly; media coverage and / or the use of walkability and bikeability checklists.

Advantages

  • Less labor intensive than ongoing activities.
  • Opportunity to engage broader community, including politicians and other community leaders, and bring visibility for SRTS.
  • Opportunity to involve diverse groups of students and adults in a common activity.
  • Opportunity to gain media coverage.

Considerations

  • Requires providing a route, or routes, that will be safe for all participants which may not be a route from their homes.
  • Should include all students, including students with disabilities.
  • Limited ability to promote daily walking to school.

Quick steps for a special event:

  1. Find partners including parents, school personnel, law enforcement and community members.
  2. Plan the celebration, including a safe route and any needed volunteers and incentives.
  3. For International Walk to School events, register at www.walktoschool.org/register.
  4. Promote the event.
  5. Have fun.

See www.walktoschool-usa.org/getstarted/index.cfm for tools, activities and detailed information.