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Walk and Bike to School Events

Walk and Bike to School Events

Walk and Bike to School Events

National Bike (& Walk) to School Day is  May 5, 2021

Registration is now open at the national website! Because the pandemic has created unprecedented times, registration is open to families, neighborhoods and schools this year. Whether you are in distance or in-person learning, whether you are walking or biking--you are invited to celebrate. While May 5 is this year’s official date, communities are welcome to celebrate any day in May that best fits their schedules. Register today to join the movement!  The national walk bike day website has everything you need for a great event--including templates for flyers, stickers, press releases and more. Here also is a basic flyer (word, pdf) where you can edit the date and in your own information.
 

Overview 

Walk to school events are a great way to begin or strengthen walk/bike-to-school efforts, conduct pedestrian education, and create enthusiasm for walking and biking to school and more. Walking or biking to school one time is so much more than zero. These events allow participants to celebrate the joy of active commuting while building a sense of community and school spirit. The event also brings attention to the importance of creating safe routes to school. More than 60 percent of past Walk and Bike to School Day organizers said their events led to policy or environmental changes in their communities.   Remember--events can be as simple as announcing "It's Bike and Walked to School Day" and giving "I Walked" and "I Biked" stickers to children when they arrive. Below is a guide for more complicated events. 

About a month before the event:

Identify dates through the PTA/PTO or Site Council and secure principal’s support. Consider linking walk/bike to school event with other events.

Connect with school staff, students, parents, and volunteers to support the event. Possible ideas: music teacher helps find musicians/students to greet walkers, art teacher helps students create banners or visuals to promote or reflect on event, PE teacher promotes walking to school with PALA. Connect with bilingual and special education staff. Consider small incentives.

Promote event through website, newsletter and hall signs.

Invite special guest walkers.

Consider/plan for media coverage. Very local is a great place to start. Communicate with school administration.

Want even more fun? Consider creating routes to school where families can walk or bike together. You can also identify park and walk sites for families who usually drive children to school. Then designate starting point/time, create a map of the routes and distribute flyer.  (See right sidebar for flyers for simple events.) Identify adult leaders for each route and supply with safety vests, stop paddles and Crossing Guard Guidelines.

About a week before event

Promote event through flyer. Add walk to school or bike to school safety tips to the back of flyer.

Send press release (if press coverage desired).

The week of the event--each day leading

Promote event through school intercom, during lunch, at arrival and dismissal and other face-to-face contact.

Day of event

Celebrate the arrival to school with cheers and music. You can also hand out I WALKED and I BIKED stickers, provide a banner for walkers and bikers to sign, and ask students to fill out tickets for prize drawings.

Provide coffee for parents to encourage them to linger, connect with each other, and perhaps consider establishing monthly, weekly or even daily walk and bike-to-school activities. 

After the event

Reflect on event—and use reflections to address pedestrian safety concerns and improve the next walk to school event. Revise walk map as needed.

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