October 6, 2014
Smiling faces and happy feet are the order of the day in October. This month thousands of students across Nova Scotia will take part in International Walk to School Month, otherwise known as IWALK. This world-wide event including over 40 countries celebrates the physical activity, safety and environmental benefits of walking, cycling and other forms of active transport. Nova Scotian students will be out in droves, starting this week.
“Walking to school is such a fundamental experience many adults had when they were growing up,” says Janet Barlow, Active Transportation Coordinator with the Ecology Action Centre. “It seems odd that today we have to encourage kids and their families to walk or bike to school. It should be the norm and not the exception. That’s what IWALK is all about.”
In Nova Scotia, almost 90 schools are registered with an estimated reach of almost 20,000 students. Schools or youth-based groups may register at any point during October at www.saferoutesns.ca (click IWALK). They may participate for one day, one week or all month long. Registered schools qualify for prize draws including a bike donated by Cyclesmith, a classroom pedometer kit, reflective arm/leg bands for all students and Teaching About Climate Change guide by Green Teacher.
School events vary from school to school and could include creating a Walking School Bus, keeping track of how often and how far students walk, rewarding families that walk to school with breakfast or healthy snacks, holding walking activities during school hours or holding a Walking Challenge. Bussed schools participate with Walk at School events.
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 as part of the Active Kids Healthy Kids Initiative. The Ecology Action Centre offers a suite of child and youth active transportation programming.
A social media release is found here: http://www.ecologyaction.ca/iwalk2014
A list of participating schools is found here: http://saferoutesns.ca/programs/international-walk-to-school-month/parties-involved
For more information, contact:
Janet Barlow, Active Transportation Coordinator
Ecology Action Centre
(902) 442-5055 (office)
(902) 717-4408 (cell)