Walk/Bike To School
Walk to School Day in the USA officially began in 1997 as a one-day event aimed at building awareness for the need for walkable communities. In 2000, the event became international when the UK and Canada and the USA joined together for the first International Walk to School Day. Over time, this event has been part of a movement for year-round safe routes to school and a celebration – with record-breaking participation – each October. Today, thousands of schools across America and in more than 40 countries worldwide celebrate walking to school every October. There are many reasons to celebrate—safer and more accessible streets, healthier habits, and cleaner air to name just a few.
The success of Walk to School Day, as well as continued interest in bicycling to school, created a desire for a national event focused on bicycling to school. The first National Bike to School Day took place on May 9, 2012, in coordination with the League of American Bicyclists’ National Bike Month.
To keep the momentum building, Wisconsin Safe Routes to School encouraged schools to participate in Winter Walk to School Day in February of 2014. The goal of Winter Walk to School Day is to encourage families to walk to school throughout the winter months. It may be a little chilly, but it’s still possible (and fun!) to get to school on foot in the snow as long as you wear proper winter wear.
Although Walk to School Day is focused more on walking and Bike to School Day is focused more on bicycling, both days welcome and encourage all forms of active transportation to school.
If you can’t support an event on the day selected, just pick another day. Any day is a good day to promote the benefits of walking and biking. Another way to keep your program growing is to have a “Walking Wednesday” one day a month. The possibilities are endless!