FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, September 18, 2017
UNAMA’KI (Cape Breton) – Alarm clocks, lunch bags and homework; now that school has started parents all across the province are registering their children in extra-curricular classes to keep them physically active, but one of the best ways to ensure your child meets the recommended amount of daily physical activity is free; walking to school!
This October, celebrate walking with your children during International Walk to School Month, or IWALK, an annual event designed to encourage greater numbers of students to walk, when possible, and offers ideas to increase the safety skills of students when using active transportation. Schools can choose from a myriad of walking activities, both to and at school, so students living in walking distance of the school as well as those that are bussed can participate.
“The Ecology Action Centre has been successfully organizing IWALK for Nova Scotia schools for over 10 years,” says Natalia Diaz-Insense, Youth Active Transportation Coordinator with the Ecology Action Centre. “We're always excited to see schools from one end of the province to the other take part in IWALK events; it’s a great way to inspire both kids and parents to make walking a part of their daily/weekly routine.”
According to the 2016 ParticipACTION Report Card the average 5-17 year old Canadian spends 8.5 hours per day being sedentary. Celebrating IWALK events is a great way to start a new activity for your kids. No matter how young or old, it’s important for them to be physically active.
“We first did a walk to school event where students encouraged their parents to walk them to school rather than drive,” shares Monica Stoilov, a teacher at LeMarchant St. Thomas School in Halifax Regional School Board, about their 2016 IWALK event. “Later in the week we had a walk-a-thon to encourage walking.”
“IWALK events can be tailored to suit your students’ needs,” says Stephanie Johnstone-Laurette, Youth AT Coordinator for Eastern NS. “If most of your students are bussed, you can hold an event during school hours on the school grounds. Some schools have parents and students walk together in a group and have breakfast at the school. There is also flexibility in when you hold your event, although many schools celebrate during Walk to School Week (October 2-6).”
Each year, schools that register and complete our feedback survey qualify for prize draws. Please visit our website, http://ecologyaction.ca/iwalk to see this year’s great prizes and register your school!
International Walk to School Month is coordinated in Nova Scotia by the Ecology Action Centre in partnership with the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness.
For more information, contact:
Youth Active Transportation Coordinator (Mainland)
Ecology Action Centre
Youth Active Transportation Coordinator (Eastern NS)
Ecology Action Centre