Encourage student participation by providing exciting prizes, like the Golden Shoe Award (an old sneaker painted gold), an extra recess or items they can win through a draw. Often, local organizations or health departments will donate prizes. For students who cannot walk to school, encourage recess or lunch walking clubs and have students track the number of kilometers they walk. Challenge the entire school to walk across Canada by walking to school/at school – contact Green Communities for a Cross Canada Walking Poster. A kilometer chart can be
found here (MS Word).
If your school has already walked across Canada by walking to school/at school, increase the challenge and start walking around the world! The IWALK Club helps students track their personal walking achievements.
To receive IWALK Club cards and stickers for your students and a Walk Around the World Poster, please join the IWalk Club and check "The IWALK Club" and "Walk Around the World Poster".
Challenge Another School
Have an IWALK Challenge with another school in your community or find a school in another part of Canada or somewhere else in the world! This can help create community-wide action
for safer walking routes as well as providing some friendly competition. Ashley Oaks Public
School in London, Ontario, challenged several local schools in the neighborhood and they are now working on other combined actions for their community.
Idling cars waste 3% of all the fuel bought in Ontario every day. Having lots of cars idling around a school at pickup and drop-off time can create a bubble of air pollution around your school, negatively impacting the health of the students. For ideas on how schools have implemented Idle Free Zones download our No Idling at School kit here or contact us for one.
A Walking School Bus is a group of families that walk along an established route together, collecting more families as they go. Walking School Buses can operate daily, one week a month or just on certain days. Chose the model that’s right for your community. See ideas for successful Walking School Buses. Westvale Public School in Waterloo has a great Walking School Bus involving senior students as ‘bus drivers’. Click here (Adobe PDF) to learn about their Walking School Bus model. For information on liability issues for Walking School Buses click here.
Students and parents can be surveyed as a way to learn what their safety concerns are, what they think of their walking route, and to see how many students actually do walk to school. Green Communities has a variety of survey templates that can be adapted to suit your schools’ needs. In addition to surveys students can complete our Blazing Trails through the Urban Jungle classroom resources – contact us for copies (suitable for Grades 4-6).
Traffic Reduction Campaigns – 25 or Less
Follow the lead of Morton Way Public School in Brampton, Ontario, who initiated this creative challenge to their families. For details on this campaign, click on the
Morton Way (Adobe PDF)
success story in Walking Wednesdays and the Poem (Adobe PDF)
in School Zone Safety.
Classroom Activities to Involve the Whole School
Green Communities Active & Safe Routes to School program is completely integrated into the Ontario curriculum. There are many wonderful ways the program can be bought into the classroom and students can benefit not just from the daily physical activity through walking to school/at school but can learn some neat things.
See the Info For Teachers curriculum (MS Word). Green Communities has resources in English and French that include a Walking School Bus CD by Charlotte Diamond suitable for music class, colouring sheets, posters, and many, many classroom activities – see the Active & Safe Routes to School
Resource Guide. Another popular school-wide project is to link the climate change issue with Canada's polar bears.
Please see our Polar Bear Fact Sheet (Adobe PDF)
or visit http://polarbears.wwf.ca/home.html to learn more about Canada's polar bears and how your school can adopt one.
Clean Air Achievers
Encourage students to get active for the environment through this unique program of the Clean Air Champions. Students record their travel habits using an online Trip Tracker, and challenge themselves to use active modes of transportation whenever possible. The program draws the links between environment, transportation and health issues and encourages youth to make more sustainable lifestyle choices. For more details visit Clean Air Champions on the web at
What is your Top Ten Idea?
We’ve left this one open. Send us an email
and tell us your Top Ten idea for implementing the Active & Safe Routes to School program in your school or community.