International Walk to School Month, IWALK, has come to a close and the numbers are in. Thank you and congratulations to all the schools across that state that hosted events!
IWALK 2013 by the Numbers
Across the country 4,447 schools registered for Walk to School Day Events, setting a new national IWALK record. That is an IWALK event for every 21 middle or elementary schools in the country! Over half of these events are part of an ongoing walking or biking campaign and just under half were participating in IWALK for the very first time. You can see all the schools that hosted events at the IWALK website maintained by the National Center for Safe Routes to School.
Is it really International? Walk to School Day began in 1997 and three years later Canada joined. Today over 40 countries participate. So yes, it really is international.
Feet First IWALK Challenge
For the past two years, Feet First has hosted the Feet First IWALK Challenge to encourage participation and recognize the schools that take part in IWALK. The friendly contest gathers stories and photos of IWALK events from around the state and distributes prizes back to the schools.
Washington does IWALK right! Participants in the first two IWALK Challenges have come from all around the state, including Seattle, Bellevue, Anacortes, Tacoma, Tumwater, Mattawa, Bridgeport, Spokane and more. IWALK organizers find innovative ways to adapt events to different environments, needs, and cultures. More and more schools are turning their events into habits, too, by using IWALK as a starting point for comprehensive and sustained Safe Routes to School programs.
Submissions for the 2013 Feet First IWALK Challenge are now in the hands of our celebrity panel of judges: Sara Butzine, School Health and Wellness Program Supervisor at OSPI, Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich of Spokane County and State Representative Marko Liias of the 21st Legislative District. By mid-December we will announce the winners of our prizes. All the schools that participated will be recognized in upcoming blog posts.
If you would like to receive information about next year’s contest, fill out this short survey and we will send you timely updates so that you, too, can take part in the Feet First IWALK Challenge.