Upper Grand rocks IWALK

The Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB) pulled out all the stops this year to promote International Walk to School Day (IWALK). The result: 46 schools participated — 60 percent of all UGDSB schools. Of the participating schools, 15 achieved student participation rates of more than 80 percent.

UGDSB credits several factors for its successful IWALK campaign:

  • This was a whole-board campaign – all schools were encouraged to participate and were provided with ready-to-use posters and stickers.
  • Schools with bused students were encouraged to hold “Walk at School” events, in which students could walk on the school grounds or in the nearby community at recess or lunch.
  • Environmental Lead teachers at each school were provided with sample announcements, school newsletter inserts, and curriculum-linked activities to publicize and promote the event.
  • Promotion outlined the benefits of walking, including increased physical fitness, mental health well-being, and decreased pollution.
  • The Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Active & Safe Routes to School Committee supported the campaign and organized a prize draw with dance classes for the winning school.

In total, more than 10,000 UGDSB students took part in IWALK 2017. Collectively they walked 6770 km, almost the entire distance across Canada from St. John’s, NL to Hope, BC!

“We are thrilled with the results of our walking campaign – our target for next year is to make it all the way to the West Coast,” says Karen Acton, UGDSB’s Environmental Sustainability Lead.

Stay In The Loop

Sign me up to receive

Recent Posts

Ajax Launches Youth Active School Travel Toolkit

Initiatives to encourage active school travel are predominantly led by active school travel organizations and municipalities, providing little opportunity for youth to present their insight and guidance on initiatives that have a direct impact on their school...

Read Your Way to More Walking and Wheeling

The books that children read growing up can shape how they view and interact with the world. Books can influence children’s environmental worldview, their ways of life, and their ways of interacting with friends and family. Encouraging children to read books focused...

Webinar Series on Active School Travel Policy

Between 2020 and 2022, Green Communities Canada (GCC) and the Human Environments Analysis Lab (HEAL) at Western University conducted extensive policy research on active travel to school, culminating in a final report of 57 key policy recommendations.   GCC, in...

Results from ‘School Streets’ Pilots in Four Ontario Cities

School Streets are an innovative solution to encourage active school travel, improve air quality, and increase road safety for children, caregivers, and educators. During spring 2022, Green Communities Canada (GCC) and 8 80 Cities led the Ontario School Streets Pilot...