International Walk to School Week takes place around the world the first week in October. It’s an international week that raises awareness about the positive ways walking to school helps children and communities. In neighborhoods all around the world, the U.S. and 40 other countries “the first week in October” is the week to walk to school. The goal is to encourage more adults and children to walk to school together to raise awareness about:
- The importance of teaching children safe walking behaviors, such as how to cross streets, and how to select safe routes to school.
- How easy and enjoyable walking is. Adults and children spend healthy, active time together doing the world’s simplest exercise – walking.
- Taking specific steps to create more walkable communities such as advocating for more crosswalks, sidewalks, crossing guards and better driver behavior.
In the Beginning
It started in 1998 with just a few schools. Now, thousands of people in California – and millions worldwide – take part each October. Walk to School Week is a simple event to host, and has provided immediate results for hundreds of schools. Register your event each year to join the network of local event coordinators who receive incentives and assistance in the months leading up to the International Walk to School Week. Why hold an event? Because a Walk to School Day event can build momentum for establishing a year-round Walk to School program.
If this year’s date is not convenient for you, simply designate another week. You can adapt most materials from the project planning section of this website. California Walk to School Headquarters staff post downloadable resources on this website to assist you with planning and implementing a successful Walk to School event.
The number of participating California schools has blossomed from just 5 in 1998 to 1,800 to date! The CA Department of Public Health has funded Walk to School activities since 1999, with generous in-kind support from:
- CA Department of Education – School Safety Office
- The Partnership for a Walkable America (original sponsor that includes public and private sector partners)
- CDPH – State & Local Injury Control Section
- Surface Transportation Policy Project
- CA Congress of Parent-Teacher Associations
- CDPH – Cancer Prevention Nutrition Section