International Walk to School Month (IWALK) is an annual mass celebration of active transportation taking place around the world every October. Hundreds of Ontario schools participate in IWALK each year, with many holding their events on IWALK Day – Wednesday, October 2, 2019.
Ontario Active School Travel provides the following great resources to help with planning and promoting IWALK events in your school community.
To help keep you motivated to use active transportation all year long, we have created an event calendar that highlights specific holidays, events and activities that you can participate in with fellow community members and stay active together!
We are always adding new events, so check back often!
Bike to School Week is the kick-off event to Bike Month, May 27 – June 30, a healthy active living initiative. Students are encouraged to use active forms of transportation such as riding bikes or scooters and walking or rolling to school or bus stops.
There is a lot to look forward to this spring and summer Halton Region! As the spring starts to warm up, and the summer days start shining through; it’s time to get outside and get moving. Did you know that getting as little as 30 minutes of exercise a day can deliver huge benefits for our bodies? From biking/walking with friends and family, to playing sports throughout the day, getting outside and being active will provide your bodies with huge benefits. Here are some examples of the benefits that could help boost your health and well-being.
Increased heart health Lifelong heart health begins with the habits we build as children and youth – by exercising for 30 minutes a day you keep your heart happy and the blood flow moving – so hop, skip, run or bike on the school journey!
Helps keep you in shape By exercising for 30 minutes a day you can keep your growing body strong and in shape. As you stick with it you will start a great routine for the future.
Reduces stress levels and mood booster If you’re having, or have had a rough day at school/work, exercising will increase your brain activity and the positive chemicals in your brain. This will help reduce your stress levels and help create a strong mental capacity.
Improves your memory School can be tough! Going for a nice 30 minute bike ride with friends and family can help boost your memory and help you remember all the information you’re learning.
Gives you an energy booster After a long day everyone feels their tank hitting empty. Instead of going inside and sitting on the couch, get outside and get your body moving! Those 30 minutes of exercise will help get oxygen and nutrients to your brain and muscles while giving your body the shakeup it needs to stay energized.
Stirs up creativity Having trouble with a project? Can’t figure out a problem? Taking a half hour break and going for a walk or bike ride, will help get your creative juices flowing and can give you the inspiration you need to get that work done.
Helps improve confidence Some days you may feel like you’re in the dumps. However, if you take the time to get active and get outside, those sunny rays will kick out those gloomy feelings and will have you feeling better than ever.
School staff are encouraged to keep track of the total number of metres walked to school and enter it into our new Trip Counter app! This information is then displayed in a variety of ways, including by school and board comparisons.
Create a Kilometre Club at your school where students can get together during recess or lunch and walk or jog around the school yard.
School staff first have to determine the distance of one lap around the yard, so that students know how many laps are required to reach one kilometre.
Popsicle sticks (or something similar) can be used as a method to track the number of kilometres completed by students. Each student receives one popsicle stick for every kilometre completed.
Back in the classroom, students count the popsicle sticks collected by the entire class to get the total kilometres traveled.
Each week, total the kilometres completed by all participating classes for the school total.
Setting Distance Goals
Create distance goals to get students excited about staying active. Some popular distance goals include:
Walk across Halton 45 km
Walk across Ontario 2,100 km
Walk across Canada 4,828 km
Walk around the Earth 40,000 km
Walk to the Moon 384,400 km
Golden Shoe Award
One way schools can encourage participation (and add some friendly competition!) is by making a “Golden Shoe Award” out of an old sneaker that is spray-painted gold. This prestigious award can go to the class with the highest percentage of students who use active transportation to get to school, the class that reached their distance goal first, etc.