Walktober: October 2019

Get your students moving! This fall, sign up to participate in Walktober to help promote healthy living, start important conversations about the environment, and win great prizes.

Participating can be as simple as promoting walking and biking through school announcements or newsletters, hosting a school-wide walk, or organizing a clothing or shoe drive. We have the resources you need to make it happen.

Participate however it works for you! Put on a Walk to School Week or Walk to School Day!

Details about Walktober 2019 coming soon – how to sign up, prizes, and event ideas!

Register

Registration for Walktober 2019 will begin in September.

Walktober FAQ

What is Walktober?

Walktober, previously known as International Walk to School Month, is an annual event held in every year. Schools can participate for a day, a week, or the entire month, during which the school or individual classrooms host fun activities to encourage students to walk and to address barriers to walking in the school community. We have ready-made resources and event ideas to make it easy for coordinators to find something that suits their school.

How do I sign up?

Registration isn’t open yet. But check back soon to sign up!

How does it work?

  1.  Register your school online.
  2. Select initiatives or fun events that work for your school
    Some of the following ideas might be helpful: 
         Participating in the Let Grow project
         Inviting us to do a mythbusting 15-minute presentation to your parent council
         Surveying parents on their concerns around walking in the neighbourhood
         Host class walks in the school neighbourhood to talk about pedestrian safety
         Walk-a-Block Zones: students can be dropped off and walk a short way (works for buses, too!)
         Hold a Walking Wednesday
         Walking School Bus route – try it once a week! 
  3. Do a School Travel Survey with BikeWalkRoll. All it takes is 30 seconds from each homeroom class in the morning, and the app automatically compiles the data for your school and school division so you see how your school is doing compared with other schools and how travel modes are shifting over time. Alternatively, this survey can be done on paper and compiled later, batch scanned, and submitted as a collection of images.
  4. Get others involved and make it happen!
  5. Complete the short evaluation so we know what’s working and how we can improve.

Why should my school do Walktober?

Children’s health. Children need activity to develop physically and mentally, but they are sedentary like no generation before them, which has led to an increase in associated health conditions like depression, obesity, and sleep irregularities. Fearing for kids’ safety has also led to a sharp curbing of childrens’ freedom to explore their neighbourhoods independently.

The environment. There is an urgent need to reduce our energy use and shift away from fossil fuels, to minimize the impacts of climate change and air pollution that can affect the development of young bodies.

Support teachers. Being active in the morning is proven to increase children’s ability to focus, improving behaviour and academic performance.

Walktober helps address these problems by allowing schools and students to make a temporary commitment to walking. This can be anything from piloting a walking school bus to designating a drop-off and pick-up area away from the school to reduce traffic congestion. Even small events start conversations about the barriers to walking in the community, such as traffic concerns, lack of safety training, and streets poorly designed for youth and children to get around independently. The momentum from events like this can carry into discussions about making active travel easier all year.

What about kids that can’t walk?

Walktober is for everyone. All methods of healthy transportation are encouraged— walking, biking, rolling (skateboards, scooters, tricycles, wheel chairs, etc), carpooling and public transit. For kids who live too far to walk regularly, drop-off zones can be set up to allow children to walk part-way or to join groups of friends who live closer to school.

I’m interested, but our school has limited time and resources. What do you suggest?

Host a Walktober that works for your school! Pick a Walk to School day or week, to make it less of a time commitment, and make the most of it. We provide ready-made resources and activity ideas for teachers, that can also help. We encourage teachers to scale the event based on what resources they have available.

No matter what, we recommend engaging your school community fully: your school’s parent council, sustainability committee, or student green team for help in planning and promoting your events.

Ideas and Materials
We have some great tools and resources to help guide you in making Walktober a success. For handouts event ideas, and curriculum tie-ins, visit our Resources for Teachers Page.
2018 Prize Packages
Remember, you can only win prizes if you register above!
1) Sports Fandom — Jets gear and more!
2) Pizza Party — A treat for your class!
3) All Fun and Games — Board games and passes to fun attractions!
4) Walk to School in Style — Outdoor active living gear!
5) EcoHero — Practical green living swag
Free Workshops and Event Support
Event Presence: We’d love to join you for your active transportation event!
Email Denae at denae@greenactioncentre.ca to see if we can celebrate with you or give a walk-to-school pep talk to your classrooms!

Air Quality Health Index Workshop: Using high-tech tools that measure air quality around your school, this presentation will engage students in discussions on ways to improve air quality with more emissions-free travel, including cycling and walking.
Length: 60 minutes
Grades: 1-6
Bookings: heather@greenactioncentre.ca or (204) 925-3777 ext 107

We’re here to help make your events a success. Reach us at denae@greenactioncentre.ca or call us at 204-925-3777 ext. 114

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