(Bible Hill Junior High, Photo credit: V. MacLaughlin)
International Walk to School Month – October 2020
October 5 - October 9, 2020 is International Walk to School Week
October 7, 2020 is International Walk to School Day
or choose any day/week in October to celebrate!
This year is unique to say the least, but we’re pleased to announce that we will be celebrating International Walk to School Month 2020! IWALK gives children, parents, teachers and community leaders an opportunity to get outside and discover their neighbourhoods or schoolgrounds. During these challenging times, we know that getting children and youth outside to be physically active is a priority – IWALK is a wonderful way to make this happen with your class. Depending on numbers, schools may want to reassess how they participate in IWALK this year (individual class-based events instead of whole school events) however, please register your school rather than your class so that we can send stickers for all students at one school in a single package.
This year, given that schools and teachers need time to settle into their RCE’s new format/protocol, we’ll keep our registration open so that all schools/groups registered before October 16 will receive IWALK stickers for all participating students (while supplies last)!
Don't forget to check out our Resources section below for ideas and online materials you can download for free to promote this event in your community.
All schools/groups who register and complete the Feedback Form at the end of October will also qualify to win some great prizes! If you’d like to increase your chance to win a prize, share your IWALK photos with us and your school/group will be entered twice!
This year your school/group could win one of the following prizes:
• a one-year school digital subscription to Green Teacher and a copy of Teaching Kids About Climate Change, donated by Green Teacher
• five $50 off certificates, donated by Aerobics First
• prizes from Halifax Cycles
• a gift certificate for $350, donated by Cyclesmith
International Walk to School Month is a partnership of the Ecology Action Centre and the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage.
How to Adapt your Walk
This year is a year unlike others; but your school can continue to hold their IWALK event and use it as an opportunity to take your class outside, an option which is being prioritized by the NS Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. You may want to consider holding walks for individual classes or grades; you may also consider holding your event on schoolgrounds if necessary. Click here for our suggestions on IWALK Health and Safety Protocol, and always ensure that your RCE/EECD protocol is being followed.
How to Get Involved
It’s not just for walking students, it's for bussing students too!
How to include your bussed students:
• Involve your bussing population at lunch time for 20 minutes
• Walk around the school (bicycles, skateboards and roller blades welcome if permitted)
• Have a group walk in the local community
• Take a trek on a nearby trail
• Walk around the gymnasium
Remember school bus safety at all times. See http://www.schoolbussafety.ca for details.
Walk to School Resources
Here are a few inspiring ideas from past events, and our How to Organize a Walk to School Event Guide or Guide des organisateurs has all sorts of suggestions to help you organize your event, so check it out!
IWALK Health and Safety Protocol Recommendations
Your RCE likely has set protocol to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 which we ask all participating schools to respect and follow. This document outlines the EAC’s recommendations for planning a safe walk given the challenges of COVID-19.
IWALK Class AT Participation Challenge
Here you may download a quick hands up survey form that you can use to run a participation challenge at school among all classes in order to encourage more people to be active on the way to school during a whole week of your choice (Monday to Friday) in October. Teachers ask how students traveled to & from school first thing in the morning each day, and only write in the number of students who raised their hand for each of the columns (walked, walked part-way, biked, etc.) and the total number of students in class that day. Estimated time to complete the survey is 5-10 min per day, depending on your Grade level.
An IWALK volunteer in the school can use these class surveys to find out the Total AT participation for each class that week and include the results in the school morning announcements or monthly newsletters. Upper elementary teachers can use these surveys to integrate this AT Challenge into their math curriculum and have students calculate their daily averages too.