Wednesday, October 3rd is International Walk to School Day! In fact, there are walk to school activities throughout the entire month of October. And even though this month’s day is focus on walking to school, and biking to school is celebrated on day in May, there’s a lot of overlap since the overall goal is the same – active transportation in walkable communities. Here are a few more factoids from WalkBiketoSchool.Org.
Quick Facts and Figures: The History of Walk to School Day and Bike to School Day
- The Partnership for a Walkable America sponsored the first National Walk Our Children to School Day in Chicago in 1997, modeled after the United Kingdom’s walk to school events, and communities around the United States have been celebrating Walk to School Day ever since.
- The event was established as “International” in 2000, when Canada and the U.K. joined with the U.S. to celebrate. Around the globe, International Walk to School Month brings together more than 40 countries in recognition of the common interest in walking to school
- In August 2005, federal legislation established a National Safe Routes to School Program that provided $612 million towards Safe Routes to School from 2005 to 2010. SRTS programs continue to operate in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. As of December 31, 2011, due to continuing congressional extensions, the total amount of funding apportioned to states was more than $978 million.
- More than 12,500 schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia have been awarded federal funds for Safe Routes to School activities
- More than half of Walk to School events are part of ongoing activities to promote walking and bicycling throughout the year
- In 2006, world-wide interest led the International Walk to School Committee to establish International Walk to School Month – countries choose a day, week or use the entire month of October to promote walking to school.
- Participation in Walk to School Day 2011 reached a record high, with more than 4,000 events registered from all fifty states and the District of Columbia. Many more communities held events but did not register.
We’re planning to bike to school with Little Ding that day – it’s easier than walking for him – and I hope to get some pictures. What about you? Send me any pictures of your walk/bike to school day to email@example.com, and I’ll post them!