October – International Walk to School Month

Back to school education concept with girl kids, elementary students, carrying backpacks going to class on school first day holding hand in hand together walking up building stair happily

October marks International Walk to School Month, a global celebration where students across the world come together to appreciate the numerous physical and mental health benefits that walking brings to individuals of all ages.

We are Living Streets, a UK charity dedicated to promoting everyday walking as the natural choice for local journeys with a mission to create a better walking environment and inspire people to embrace walking as a way of life.

The journey to and from school presents a unique opportunity for children to stay physically active, connect with their community, and develop important skills in independence and road safety.

These walks serve various purposes, whether it’s advocating for safer streets, promoting healthier habits, or preserving the environment. Regardless of the reason, International Walk to School events contribute to the vision of a more walkable world, one community at a time.

The benefits of more children walking to school extend beyond the individual level, benefiting the entire community, from reduced traffic congestion to increased foot traffic for local businesses. Parents often witness improvements in their children’s mood and behaviour when they choose to walk to school.

Regrettably, the number of children walking to school has been steadily declining for decades. In 1975-76, approximately 74% of primary school children walked to school, but by 2015, this number had dwindled to just 48%. Living Streets is committed to reversing this decline. The government has set an objective to increase the percentage of 5- to 10-year-olds walking to school to 55% by 2025. You can join this movement and help make it a reality by advocating for the nationwide rollout of the Walk to School Programme!

We all know that doing exercise is one of the best ways to start the day, but sometimes getting to school on foot isn’t as straightforward as it should be. Explore Living Streets’ step-by-step tips for stress-free walks and safer streets family walk-to-school kit. If walking as a family is not possible in the morning, don’t give up, choose to walk as a family for enjoyment. Check out these family-friendly walks with a reward in Kent.

WOW – The Walk to School Challenge

WOW is a student-led initiative where children report how they travel to school each day using the interactive WOW Travel Tracker. If they choose sustainable modes of transportation (walking, cycling, or scooting) at least once a week for a month, they earn well-deserved badges. It’s that simple!

WOW is easy to implement, and children thoroughly enjoy participating. Each year, the collectible WOW badges are designed by students in our annual badge design competition. On average, schools participating in WOW witness a 30% reduction in car journeys to the school gate and a 23% increase in walking rates.

The theme for the 2023/24 school year is “The British Nature Walk.”

Every year, WOW and its badges embrace a different, fun, and educational theme. This year’s theme aims to bring students closer to the diverse natural landscapes and wildlife found throughout Britain.

Join us on this exciting journey of discovery and healthier habits!


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