International Walk to School Day is a fun and interactive way to promote walking to school safely.
Our chapter of Safe Routes to School in Florida is making a difference to reduce the number of child pedestrian deaths and injuries in our communities.
International Walk to School Day celebrates the joys of walking and opens the eyes of students, families, schools and community leaders. Held annually during the first Wednesday in October, this event involves communities from more than 40 countries. Over time the event, which began in 1997, has become part of a movement for year-round safe routes to school. Today, thousands of schools across America — from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico — participate.
Here are a few guidelines to help you plan an event at your school:
- Walk to School Day events can be simple or elaborate. Be sure to first obtain the school principal’s approval.
- Register your school at www.walkbiketoschool.org
- Choose a time and a centralized meeting point, such as a nearby church, YMCA, recreation center or mall parking lot. Secure approval to gather at this location.
- Invite local law enforcement/fire rescues to attend or make them aware of the event.
- Publicize your event through announcements, emails and newsletters home to parents.
- Generate excitement with your students.
- Principals, assistant principals and volunteers may greet students and parents on event day.
- Principal or assistant principal speaks to the students and parents to explain the environmental benefits of walking, as well as following pedestrian-safety rules.
- The group then forms a parade line, walking to school carrying signs and banners.
Ideas to consider:
- Stickers, wristbands and other incentive items: A small reward can be distributed for participation.
- Pre-event pedestrian safety: Walk to School Day events can be a great way to cap off pedestrian safety education.
- Guests: Invited guests (local celebrities, city mayor or mascots) might walk with students or speak to them when they arrive.
- Refreshments: Reach out to your local grocery store or restaurant for donations.
Judge Karl Grube Award - Pinellas County
The Judge Karl Grube "Extra Mile" award will be given to a school that demonstrates outstanding achievement in its participation in the Safe Routes to School International Walk to School Day Initiative. To be selected for the award, you must meet the following criteria
- Participate in International Walk to School Day and continue it annually
- Implement a walking school bus program, bike train, or a program that continues to promote pedestrian/bicycle safety education
- Partake in student education on pedestrian/bicycle safety programs annually
- Implement pedestrian/bicycle safety related activities or programs that are student-initiated or student-directed public service announcement, etc.
- Provide follow-up opportunities for bicycle/pedestrian safety activities
- Demonstrate outstanding ability to relate bicycle and pedestrian safety information to its student body in an engaging manner for lasting benefit
Contact the Safe Routes to School Community Educator for your county:
Rachelle Webb Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas and Polk
Jodi Walborn Collier, Hendry, Glades, Highlands and Lee
Lisa Indovino Hardee, Charlotte, Desoto, Manatee and Sarasota