Walking & Wheeling Skills Resource Hub
Welcome to the online resource hub for school-based walking & wheeling skills training programs!
This hub has been designed to support organizations and municipalities across Ontario that are looking to start or grow school-based walking & wheeling skills training programs in their community.
In this resource hub you will find:
- lessons learned from existing programs
- tools to help you scope out your program model and budget
- information on potential funding sources, and
- vetted, transferable curricula that you could use in your community.
This hub was launched in April 2022 by Green Communities Canada in partnership with Stuckless Consulting Inc. and is part of a broader initiative to build a more collaborative and efficient approach to school-based walking & wheeling skills training programs in Ontario.
Why we Developed this Resource Hub
Providing students with skills training is an important part of efforts to get more kids walking & wheeling to school. This training can help to support encouragement efforts aimed at increasing walking & wheeling and increase the safety of students on their commute to school, and in their communities. Despite these benefits, it is estimated that less than 2% of Ontario students currently receive this type of training each year.
Unlike in several other provinces, Ontario does not have a province-wide skills training program that is being consistently used. Instead, individual communities have developed their own programs, using ad-hoc funding secured through grants and partnerships. This has led to the creation of some very successful and impactful programs. It has also led to a lot of duplication of effort across communities and left the vast majority of communities with no programming at all. These resources help to change that!
We recommend that you go through all the information in the “Foundations” section first, to get a sense of what others have done. You can then use this information to guide your decisions about what best suits your community, and to make plans for an effective and sustainable program.
Section 1: Foundations
Program Planning Checklist
Print off this page and use it to guide your skills training research and planning, and to compile your ideas and notes all in one place.
Existing Programs list (as of April 2022)
Review this list to see if there is an existing walking & wheeling skills training program that already serves your area. If there is, reach out to connect with the program leaders. If not, continue through the steps below.
Lessons Learned Report (published in March 2022)
This report is based on input from 12 programs currently being delivered across Canada, and on interviews with communities looking to launch programs. It will help you map out the type and scale of programming you want to offer and includes lessons learned on budgeting, planning the scope and focus of your project, leveraging existing resources, establishing a program model, etc.
- Full Report: Building a Collaborative Approach to Walking & Wheeling Skills Training in Schools
- Summary: 12 Lessons Learned
- Summary: 5 Collective Calls to Action
These six case studies describe how various organizations have worked to address common challenges:
Section 2: Program Expenses and Funding Opportunities
Once you have decided on the focus and scope of your program, you’ll need to consider the resources that will be required to make it all happen.
Program Expense Mapping Tool
This program expenses mapping tool will help you think through all your possible program expenses, which can vary widely from community to community. We’ve provided three sample expense calculations to give you an idea of the range of potential total costs.
*Note: These tools are based on the experiences and advice of organizations currently delivering school-based walking & wheeling skills training programs across Canada. They focus on cycling-only programs as there is not enough data available to develop a similar mapping tool for walking-only programs at this time.
Potential Funding Sources
Once you have developed your program plan and budget, check out this list of possible funding sources.
Section 3: Program Materials
Tested and transferable program models and materials exist, and organizations are willing to share. When planning for your local program, don’t reinvent the wheel. Leverage existing materials and then focus on investing your time and resources on other aspects of program planning and delivery.
Skills Training Curriculum
Below are links to summaries of recommended curriculum resources that you can use in your community. These summaries provide the initial information you’ll need when planning budgeting for your program. When you’re ready to move ahead, get in touch with the corresponding organizations who can provide you access to the latest versions.
School Curriculum Connections
When promoting walking & wheeling skills training to schools, it’s important to be able to show how your program helps teachers meet existing school curriculum requirements. This will help to make the case for your program within the busy school calendar. Some work has already been done in Ontario to highlight these school curriculum links.
Section 4: Instructor Training and Recruitment
Before launching your program, you’ll need a pool of trained instructors. Exactly how you recruit and train these instructors can vary. As you will have read in our “Foundations” section, there are a few different approaches to instructor training and recruitment. We’ve compiled a few tips on how you can get started without needing to develop your own instructor training program.
Instructor Training Tips
This resource focuses on tips related to walking & wheeling skills instructor training in the Ontario context specifically.
Sample Instructor Job Posts
See how other organizations are recruiting their instructors and describing the positions.
Instructor to Student Ratio Recommendations
Instructor to student ratios vary across programs. We recommend that Ontario-based programs refer to the supervision ratios that have been developed by Ophea.
*Note: Ophea does not have supervisor ratio recommendations specific to walking
Webinar: Building a Collaborative Approach to Walking & Wheeling Skills Training in Schools
This initiative has been developed with funding from the Government of Ontario as part of the Ontario Active School Travel Fund. The views expressed as part of this initiative are the views of Green Communities Canada and Stuckless Consulting Inc. and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Ontario.
Featured photo: Patrick Chondon via EcoSuperior