2008 Walk to School events break records

Photo of children in Alexandria

James K. Polk Elementary in Alexandria, VA

Thank you for making Walk to School Day a big success! All 50 states participated — with 3,000 registered events in the U.S., and many more schools that didn't register, but still celebrated. The official date was October 8, but many schools celebrated throughout the month or on a different day. Walk to School events have increased every year throughout the U.S. thanks to the commitment of families and community leaders to encouraging safe walking and bicycling by schoolchildren.

Schools across the U.S. held a variety of activities on Walk to School Day from bike rodeos to breakfast celebrations after walking and bicycling. Registered event organizers could also download a variety of resources from the Walk to School Web site such as banners and stickers to be used at their events.

Walk to School Day began in the U.S. with one school in Chicago in 1997 and has spread all over the U.S. and worldwide, with 44 countries participating in International Walk to School Month in October.

To view the names of registered schools that participated in Walk to School Day in the U.S., please visit www.walktoschool.org. For a complete list of countries, please visit www.iwalktoschool.org/whoswalking. For photos of Walk to School activities from around the world, please visit www.iwalktoschool.org/photos/index.htm.

If you participated in Walk to School and would like to share photos, please send them (along with a brief caption) to walk@iwalktoschool.org.

Thank you to those of you who have shared photos and stories with us via e-mail.

Here are observations from an event at a small school in Virginia:

Blacksburg New School participated in today's Walk to School Day with great success! A family living in Wyatt Farm neighborhood invited families to "park and walk/bike" from their home: 44 of our 96 students did just that! And they were joined by another 22 parents and siblings! Another 6 kids walked or biked from nearby neighborhoods…As a teacher, I noticed the kids were more school-ready than ever. Twelve of my 13 kindergartners had walked at least 1/4 mile before arriving at school. Terrific!

– T. J. Stone, PhD, Blacksburg New School, Blacksburg, VA

And here are impressions from a larger school in north-central Texas:

We ended up with over 200 people walking for our school, IC Evans Elementary school in Burkburnett. The high school participated as well and had 10% of their school join in. The Texas Department of Highway Transportation supplied reflective zipper pulls for all of the kids to wear. The kids loved having the blue Texas hang off their jackets and backpacks. Students were joined by family members and I am certain that next year will be a lot bigger. I wanted us to join this event as a community to support healthy lifestyles and to help clean up the environment. My philosophy in class is — BE A MOVER! The best motivation is the family unit and that's what we were trying to bring together. I feel that it was a huge success!

– Stacy Brown, Burkburnett Independent School District, TX