Smith began teaching at Stonebridge only in 2020. However, she was well-acquainted with OAST, having participated in seasonal event celebrations like Winter Walk Day at the school where she previously taught. When she discovered her new workplace was part of an active school travel pilot project she decided to jump on the bandwagon.
“I started by making sure that I walked to work every Wednesday (checkout #WalkingWednesday on Twitter). When in-person learning was suspended as we moved into winter, I wanted to motivate kids to get outdoors. We started with students sharing images with me, and teachers sharing photos of walking to school on Twitter. It’s then that we began issuing participation certificates to encourage everyone to get outside and walk,” says Smith.
Besides the certificates, Smith also created a Journey Outside Challenge checklist featuring activities families could do together while learning at home such as walk around the block and hike a trail. “Instead of a Winter Walk ‘Day’, we celebrated throughout the month of February so that families got some off-screen time in winter,” says Smith.