We know that many of you are already well into your IWALK campaign, however we wanted to pause and revisit the wonderful events hosted last year. We hope these five schools provide ideas and inspiration. You can also read about last years IWALK Challenge winners.
All the schools highlighted were part of our Feet First IWALK challenge. Please join the IWALK challenge for an opportunity to win prizes and recognition for all your hard work. Also, make sure you are counted and register your event with the National Center for SRTS.
The Golden Sneaker
Daniel Bagley Elementary in Seattle, held an IWALK event to kick off its year-long Let’s Move Program. Over 150 students participated and received handstamps with the school mascot upon arrival. Now, every Friday students can join one of the five Walking School Buses or walk laps on the track before school. Walking translates into points and points are then exchanged for keychain tokens. Each month, the classroom with the most cumulative points receives the coveted Golden Sneaker Award (a donated, spray-painted parent’s shoe).
Paw Prints and Bracelets
Lake Grove Elementary in Federal Way hosted their first ever Walk to School Day with teacher-led Walking School Buses, “Walking is Cool” bracelets and a leopard paw print for each student who walked. In the past, parents expressed concern over neighborhood safety and thus the Walking School Buses provided a safe way for students to walk and for families to connect. Dana Henry, the Physical Education Teacher, noticed that the event “was a venue for parents to show they care and want to be involved and a way we could reach out to families without the formality and ‘education-speak.’” On the student side, Garrett Chan, a fourth and fifth grade GATE teacher wrote, “I definitely notice a positive increase in their energy level and their ability to work hard in class. It brought a spirit of connectedness and community to the school – what a great feeling!”
Apple Slices and Costumes
Rock Island Elementary, near the Columbia River, was heavily affected by area forest fires, which forced students inside for the beginning of October. Students were not even able to go outside for recess. When the smoke finally cleared, the school hosted a one day Walk to School event. To include students who bus, the walk circled the perimeter of the school and ended at a table filled with apple slices. As a way to incorporate literacy, students dressed up as their favorite book and comic book characters.
McDonald International Elementary in Seattle hosted its inaugural Walking School Bus event this past IWALK. Parents identified five corridors leading to the school and painted the school mascot at each starting point, or “Scotty Stop.” Students then created signs to represent their walking group such as the “West Area Scotty Stop.” McDonald is a language immersion school and Walking School Buses were heard signing songs in English, Spanish and Japanese.
Walk and Wheel Wednesday’s
The faculty and staff at Willard Elementary in Spokane, Washington saw a need for an IWALK event: the school is located in an area with a high number of collisions between cars and youth that walk or bike. Willard partnered with Stickman Know’s, a Spokane based traffic safety awareness campaign, and held a two-day event. IWALK inspired a weekly walking campaign: Walk and Wheel Wednesday’s, where students walk on a provided safe route to school. En route to school students are handed a ticket to exchange for a Walk and Wheel Wednesday t-shirt. Students and staff show school spirit by wearing their t-shirts on Wednesday’s.
We thank these schools for sharing their impressive IWALK stories and we are very excited to hear about IWALK 2013’s walking and biking campaigns across Washington.