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About the Walk


 

In 2011, millions of children, parents, and community leaders from 40 countries around the world joined together in celebration of International Walk to School Month.

The goal of the walk varies from community to community. Some walks rally for safer and improved streets, some to promote healthier habits and some to conserve the environment. Whatever the reason, International Walk to School events encourage a more walkable world — one community at a time.


The History of the Walk

In 1994, the Hertfordshire County Council's Travelwise team in Great Britain pilots the first walk to school week in the summer term with just a few of its schools.

In 1995, the Pedestrians Association organizes its own first walk to school week, raising the profile of the initiative across Great Britain.

In 1996, the Travelwise Association (numbering about 100 local authorities) joins forces with The Pedestrians Association to hold Walk To School Week during Child Safety Week in Great Britain.

In 1997, in the United States, the Partnership for a Walkable America launches its first walk in Chicago. Later that year, Los Angeles holds a walk. Walk To School Week gets its own dedicated week in mid-May in Great Britain.


walkers in
British Columbia, Canada.

In 1998, 16,000 Canadians from 5 provinces join over 170,000 Americans from 58 United States' communities. Great Britain officially launches Walk To School Week in Birmingham and receives National TV News coverage.

In 1999, Ireland joins the walk along with 44 schools from New Zealand. 10,000 schools from Great Britain take part along with 250 schools from Canada, and 525 schools from the United States.

In 2000, the first ever International Walk to School Day took place on October 4th. Canada, Great Britain, United States, Ireland, Cyprus, Gibraltar and The Isle of Man participated. Austrialia and New Zealand plan to coordinate walks throughout the year. Over two and a half million walkers were estimated to have participated.

In 2001, walkers celebrated the second annual International Walk to School Day with an even greater turnout! 21 countries and nearly 3 million people walked to school, making this the largest event yet.

In 2002, 28 countries were involved in International Walk to School Day. Over 3 million people celebrated walking to school on October 2nd, 2002.

In 2003, 29 countries and 3 million walkers participated in International Walk to School Day on October 8, 2003.

In 2004, 36 countries and 3 million walkers participated in International Walk to School.

In 2005, 37 countries and 3 million walkers participated in International Walk to School.

In 2006, 40 countries and millions of walkers participated in the first International Walk to School Month throughout October.

In 2007, 42 countries and millions of walkers participated in International Walk to School Month.

In 2008, 40 countries and millions of walkers participated in International Walk to School Month.

In 2009, 40 countries and millions of walkers participated in International Walk to School Month.

In 2010, 40 countries and millions of walkers participated in International Walk to School Month.

In 2011, 42 countries and millions of walkers participated in International Walk to School Month.

This October, people all over the world will celebrate International Walk to School Month. Learn about who's participating on our Who's Walking page.

What it's all about

International Walk to School is more than just getting together with children and going for a walk to school as a special event. This is certainly important, but the event's greater aim is to bring forth permanent change in communities across the globe. Below are just a few of its goals:

    Lytchett Matravers Primary school in Dorset, England.
    Encourage physical activity by teaching children the skills to walk safely, how to identify safe routes to school, and the benefits of walking

    Raise awareness of how walkable a community is and where improvements can be made

    Raise concern for the environment

    Reduce crime and take back neighborhoods for people on foot

    Reduce traffic congestion, pollution, and speed near schools

    Share valuable time with local community leaders, parents, and children




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