Walk to school

Do you need a better reason?

Be a part of a healthier, safer and more environmentally-friendly community. It can take as little as 20 minutes, and it’s worth it.

Walk to school for…

Walk to school for their health

  • Reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes and other health problems
  • Help your kids learn healthy habits
  • Studies show that kids who exercise before class are more attentive and concentrate better.

Radio ad – Walk to school for their health

Walk to school for their safety

  • Even one less car on the road (yours) eases traffic in school zones.
  • You can coach your kids about cycling and traffic safety; lead by example.
  • When you walk with your kids to school, you prevent bullying.
  • Walking parents, and kids means a walking neighbourhood with more ‘eyes on the street’.  This bad environment for crime will make your neighbourhood safer.

Radio ad – Walk to school for their safety

Stranger safety

You can help keep our community safe by becoming a part of it. Get to know your neighbours, and consider using these tips to keep your kids safe.

  • Get to know your own neighbourhood by walking it with your child. Point out areas to avoid like alleys or poorly lit areas.
  • Teach your children to walk with confidence, and to be watchful, with their heads held high.
  • Teach your children the buddy system.  Encourage them to walk with someone or start a walking school bus.
  • Introduce your child to crossing guards; people they can approach if they need assistance.
  • Teach your children about Block Parent Program.  Walk around your neighbourhood and point out the signs.  Become a Block Parent yourself.
  • Teach your child a code word.  Practice it with your child on a regular basis. Any adult wanting to take your child somewhere must know the code word.
  • Teach your child to never approach a car to give directions or to help find something.  Adults need help from other adults not children.
  • Teach your child not to accept gifts, candy or toys without your permission. If they are offered a gift, they should tell a trusted adult.
  • Teach your children their full name, area code and phone number and address. Teach them your name too – you’re not just mom or dad.
  • Teach them how to phone home, call the operator, use a pay phone and make a long distance call.
  • Post emergency numbers by the phone including 911, your work number and the number of a trusted relative or friend. If they do call for any reason praise them for doing so.
  • Teach your child that screaming is okay.  If they find themselves in an uncomfortable situation they are to scream long and hard and try to draw attention to themselves.
  • Listen carefully to your children and believe what they are telling you.  Have frequent conversations about their experiences in your neighbourhood.  Walking is great exercise, improves concentration, protects the environment, builds community and fosters independence.

Teach your children this phrase. They should use it anytime they are in an uncomfortable situation…

Say No!      Go!       Tell Someone! 

Walk to school for the environment

  • Even one less car on the road (yours) lowers harmful pollution and greenhouse gas emissions
  • Your child is exposed to up to seven times more pollution in a car compared to waking on a sidewalk.
  • Show your children how they can help clean the air and fight climate change.
  • Your family can prevent about 10 kg of carbon dioxide emissions by walking to school this year.
  • Imagine what you and your neighbours can to together in a walk-pool

Radio ad – Walk to school for the environment

Walk to school for the community

  • Start a walk-pool or walking school bus – it’s like a carpool on your feet! Take turns with your neighbours walking a bunch of kids to school.
  • Your kids make friends in every grade, and that can prevent bullying at school.
  • You can make new friends too!
  • Getting to know your neighbours and your neighbourhood helps make your community safer.

Getting started

Start on a Saturday

  • Map and time your route to school so you can make plan.
  • Walk on Wednesdays
  • Walk or bike to school once a week to get a good thing going. Then make your walks
  • more frequent.

Invite your neighbours

  • Start a walking school bus or walk-pool. Talk to other parents about taking turns walking a bunch of kids to school

What about the weather?

  • You may need to adjust your morning routine to make time to bundle up, and walking can be slower if it’s snowy or rainy.
  • Dress in layers, wear waterproof coats and boots. Don’t forget your hat and mittens.
  • Wear bright colours make you and your children more visible to drivers

Fun facts and teacher tools