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BFF Celebrates Walk to School Day with Partners in Orlando, Osceola and Seminole Counties

Last week, we celebrated International Walk to School Day with parents and students from Audubon Park School K8 and in Orlando and Evans Elementary School in Seminole County. Hundreds of students and parents from both schools left their cars at home and traveled to school on bike and on foot.

Even though the official holiday was last week, we at Best Foot Forward believe EVERYDAY should be Walk to School Day. Walking to school is a great way to teach our little ones about pedestrian safety–then reinforce that message daily. Kids learn how to properly use a crosswalk (and the importance of doing so). They also learn how to look Left-Right-Left before crossing the street, and other lessons they’ll use for the rest of their lives. In order to help you make the switch from the bus or parent drop-off to walking, we’ve compiled this handy information. Get it? Handy (not Footy)!

What is Walk to School Day?

International Walk to School Day is a world-wide event that encourages students to walk to school. Started in 1997 by the Partnership for a Walkable America, the one-day event was meant to raise awareness for the need for more walkable communities. The event went international in 2000 when the UK and Canada joined the United States in celebrating.  Over the years, the one-day event has inspired a movement with thousands of schools in more than 40 countries participating each year. In 2006, the International Walk to School Committee established October as Walk to School Month. This year, Walk to School Day was celebrated on October 2.

How did Central Florida celebrate?

Best Foot Forward joined with Orange, Osceola and Seminole schools to celebrate Walk to School Day this year. We had an extra special time in Seminole County, at Evans Elementary in Oviedo. Afterwards, BFF hosted the launch ceremony in Sanford for Best Foot Forward in Seminole County.

At Audubon Park School, students met at three locations near to school to bike and walk together. At our table outside the school, we talked to parents the need for safer streets around the school, and they were glad we were there to teach kids about crosswalk safety and the importance of being aware of their surroundings. At Evans Elementary, Seminole County Sheriff’s deputies, Oviedo Police officers, and SCSO Crossing Guard joined students and parents as they walked to school. Crossing Guard supervisor Dacia Maisonave shared safety tips before Seminole County Chief Dan Purcell and Carl the Bear led the walk.

Photos from Walk to School Day in Oviedo and Orlando with Best Foot Forward

How can I plan a Walk to School event?

Planning your event will depend on your school or neighborhood. Luckily, there’s no one way to plan a Walk to School event. Walk and Bike to School has resources for planning a Walk to School, including examples of events to host. Working with your school’s PTA or PTO is a great way to organize your Walk to School event. Reach out to school administrators and teachers about organizing class or school-wide events.

Who should I include in a Walk to School event?

Everyone! You could organize an event with your neighbors, your classroom, or your Walking School Bus. The idea is to get as many kids as possible to walk to school and be excited about it.

Why should I plan a Walk to School event?

Participating in Walk to School Day is a great way to get kids excited about walking to school, but don’t feel confined to walking to school just one day a year. Walking to school has been shown to have many benefits for kids, like better performance in school and increased daily exercise. A Walk to School event is also a great opportunity to make connections with other families in your neighborhood and school.

Learn more about Walk to School Month (October).

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