Active &Safe Routes to School (ASRTS) promotes safety and healthy physical activity, and enirvonmentally sustainable transporation to and from school. In fall 2004 the ASRTS started the program IWALK Club. It's goals is to encourage pupils to walk to school for developing their own mobility competence.
Background & Objectives
The IWALK Club helps participating schools in Canada to start an every day walk-to-school day. Students are rewarded each time they walk or bike to school with a stamp in their IWALK Club member card. Assidious Pupils receive a certificate of appreciation and may be eligible for prizes determined by the school.
Thereby these goals can be reached:
- Encourage healthier lifestyles
- Increase daily physical activity
- Reduce pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and traffiy congestion
- Improve visibility and child safety on neighbourhood streets; and
- Allow a greater independence, fun and freedom for children
In Schools IWALK clubs can be started by registering through their local community or at the ASRTS homepage. Students are motivated to participate in the project by carrying out local championships. Furthermore the schools are encouraged to reward individual students an classes for their participation. The IWALK club also provides other costless resources for the classes such as:
- a poster,
- a CD with "The walking school bus" by a Canadian singer and
- Classroom activity ideas (Community Design, Postcard contest, a greenhouse gas experiment)
Between February and May 2005 16,654 children at 83 schools paticipated in teh IWALK Club. Together these pupils walked 277,539 kilometres. 71% of participating pupils actually walked to school while 76% participated in IWALK club activities. Most of the schools reported that there was an enormous increase in number of pupils walking to school. Schools also noted that IWALK club member cards are great motivators for students and that most of the students had fun completing them. In addition to the IWALK club the participating schools also started several other activities such as a 30 minute "river walk", Jogging clubs or Frisbee clubs. A similar project was planned to do by the ASRS for the following school year.
Website Active & Save Routes to school: www.saferoutestoschool.ca