International Walk to School Day (IWTSD) is observed each year on the first Wednesday in October, on October 4 this year. The weather is just right for kids to take to the streets and get some exercise. IWTSD gives students all over the globe the opportunity to make an impact on the environment. The observance creates awareness and inspires local action on creating a safer and environmentally sustainable environment.
History of International Walk to School Day
International Walk to School Day is an annual observance that started as a way of creating awareness for walkable communities. It has since grown to become a series of international events taking place in more than 40 countries. Thousands of students in schools across the globe take to the streets and participate in IWTSD events in their local communities each year.
IWTSD was first observed in the early 1990s in Britain. The Partnership for a Walkable America is credited with promoting the holiday in North America by 1997. In 2004, Active and Safe Routes to School started organizing local events at schools. They built on their success; holding events at several schools since then.
Students in schools all across the United States, including the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico, contribute to the annual IWTSD celebrations. Students rally to walk and inspire conversations about creating safer communities, environmental conservation, and health-conscious transportation habits.
IWTSD sheds light on several important issues such as traffic safety and environmental pollution. It is an important initiative in educating the world about the dangers of environmental pollution. Walking also happens to be an excellent form of exercise. Its health benefits are often underappreciated compared to jogging. However, even while not being as physically demanding, walking regularly is a great way to stay fit and healthy.
The holiday continues to gain popularity over time thanks to organizers, schools, and participating students. Today, we celebrate the impact of this observance and the effort of the organizers who make this initiative what it is.
International Walk to School Day timeline
The first International Walk to School Day observance occurs in Britain.
The Partnership for a Walkable America promotes Walk to School Day in North America.
Active and Safe Routes to School organizes events for IWTSD at local schools.
Schools in Virginia organize over 386 events to mark IWTSD.
International Walk to School Day FAQs
Is there an International Walk to School Month?
October is International Walk to School Month. It is a celebration of walking and its health benefits for children all over the world.
When is day 100 in the school year?
Day 100 usually comes up sometime in February. It occurs in the middle of the month; close to Valentine’s Day.
Is there an International No School day?
December 2 is National Skip School Day in the United States. Introduced in 2019, the observance is still relatively new.
International Walk to School Day Activities
Share your experiences
The best way to mark IWSTD is to spread the word. Share your experiences on social media to create awareness.
Volunteer at the organizing association in your area. Look up the venues for events in your neighborhood and ask how you can help.
Bring refreshment for the little ones!
Pack small lunches or hand out cool lemonade to the little marchers. Their long walk is sure to leave them parched.
5 Facts About Walking That Will Blow Your Mind
One would need to walk for seven hours to burn the calories gained from eating fries, a Big Mac, and a super-sized Coke.
Walk into fitness
The ideal way to lose weight is to walk longer distances at a moderate pace.
Slow does win the race
A person taking a 15-minute brisk walk burns the same amount of calories as someone who jogs the same distance in nine minutes.
As of 1970, approximately 66% of students walked to school, compared to the 13% who do so today.
Going nonstop at a speed of three miles/hour, you can walk around the world in just 347 days.
Why We Love International Walk to School Day
It makes our environment healthier
Exhaust fumes are bad for the environment. For every family that chooses walking over driving, there is a car left in the garage, which means one less agent polluting the environment.
It teaches kids traffic laws
When they walk, kids get to learn safe pedestrian skills. It’s an excellent opportunity to teach them how to read traffic signs.
Who needs the gym or P.E. when you can walk to school? Walking is an excellent exercise routine and can help strengthen the body.
International Walk to School Day dates