Washington Schools to promote health and safety through IWALK Challenge

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Over 100 Washington schools join thousands of schools worldwide in celebrating International Walk to School Month

The month of October is International Walk to School Month, also known as “IWALK.” Every year, tens of thousands of schools around the country and world celebrate IWALK by organizing events to encourage more students and families to walk to school. IWALK celebrations promote health, safety and community by reminding us all about the joys and benefits found through the simple act of walking to school.


Feet First hosts an IWALK Challenge to get more students walking this October.  Schools that hold IWALK events can join the IWALK Challenge for a chance to win prizes from Feet First, including active play equipment, for schools and enough children’s shoes for an entire classroom of students.  As of this date, over 100 schools statewide have signed up for the IWALK Challenge.  Feet First expects that number to climb through October.  This year we have more than doubled the number of schools statewide participating in IWALK, says Safe Routes to School Director Jen Cole, the Feet First IWALK Challenge reaches thousands of children and parents. 


Schools are invited to join the IWALK Challenge by hosting walk-to-school events in October and then submitting their event to Feet First.   Submissions will be reviewed by a three distinguished Washingtonians who have volunteered to serve as a celebrity panel of judges:  Alfie Alvarado-Ramos, Deputy Director of the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs, James Kissee, Physical Activity Specialist with the Washington State Department of Health, and Heather Gillette, President of Washington State Parents and Teachers Association (WSPTA).


The Feet First IWALK Challenge is a step towards getting students to regularly walk to school.  The campaign is a fun way to turn walking into a habit, she says. We hope that the joyful energy of IWALK will help inspire more families to incorporate walking to school into their family routines.  Feet First is able to offer prizes thanks to generous sponsors of the IWALK Challenge:  Brooks Shoes, Washington State PTA, Skyline Socks, Seattle Parks and Recreation, Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union, and Safe Kids Washington.


More information about the IWALK Challenge, including contest submission forms, can be found here. For information about local school IWALK events, contact Jen Cole by emailing jen@feetfirst.org  or calling 206.652.2310 ext. 2.



About International Walk to School Day
IWALK is part of an international effort in more than 40 countries to celebrate the many benefits of safely walking and biking to school and to encourage more families to get out of the car and onto their feet on the way to school. Walk to school day began in 1997 with a single school. Since then, participation has grown every year, with 4,392 events registered through http://www.walkbiketoschool.org  in 2013, setting another record.

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put on neighborhood walks and provide walking resources

raise awareness throughout Washington about the benefits of walkable communities and rights of the pedestrians

host events and programs focused on improving walkability