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Walk To School Day
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
Walk to School Day is a keystone event of Safe Routes to School Los Angeles. SRTS-LA is a collaboration between the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) & the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).
Walk to School Day brings together students, school administration and staff, parents, and valued community members to celebrate the value of walking to school. The event provides a fun way to increase physical activity, improve health, and highlight the need for improvements to create safer spaces for students that walk and bike.
Since 2013, over 225 schools and over 55,500 students have participated in Walk to School Day. Thanks again to all of our schools, organizers, volunteers, and partners. To get you started in organizing your event, download the Walk to School Day Tip Sheet.
Check out the Walk to School Day video to capture the excitement of the event.
If you would like to participate in Walk to School Day, register today and receive a banner.
“Walk to School Day is a phenomenal first step for the City to make students visible and promote Safe Routes to School everywhere!”
— Ivanhoe Walk to School Day Volunteer Organizer
Walk to School Day Overview
What is Walk to School Day?
Walk to School Day is an annual national event that happens at thousands of schools. Students, parents, school personnel and other community members walk to school in community on the day of the event.
How will Safe Routes to School help?
SRTS-LA is a program administered by LADOT in partnership with LAUSD. SRTS-LA provides planning and logistical support, promotional materials, and banners. LADOT staff also notifies School and City Police and the Crossing Guards about your event.
How far can students be expected to walk?
As a rule of thumb, walking routes should be no longer than one mile. Walking School Bus meeting spots should be between 1/4 – 1/2 mile from the school.
What if it is not safe to walk in my neighborhood?
You could organize an on-campus Walk at School event, or work with trusted neighborhood partners.
Why should I volunteer?
This is a great opportunity to help encourage children to walk to school leading to healthy habits and improved safety around school campuses. Volunteers are needed to ensure that the event is safe and successful.
Our Safe Routes to School Partners
School-based organizers are the main contact for the event and arrange for 5–10 volunteers to help plan and host Walk to School Day activities. SRTS-LA provides a banner for each school, planning and logistical support, promotional materials, and special guest, crossing guard, and enforcement coordination.
Get Started Today!
The Organizer Manual is a step-by-step guide with a full set of materials including activity sheets, customizable handouts, and email and phone scripts (materials are available in English and Espanol). See below for downloadable materials for each step.
If you only need a short list of activities to organize your event, download the Walk to School Day Tip Sheet.
The Organizer Event Checklist
is your constant companion for the weeks leading up to Walk to School Day: check off each step leading up to the event.
Educate yourself and others on this exciting event and use the Organizer Event Checklist to organize each step leading up to the event:
Walk to School Day comes in many shapes and sizes. The Sample Activities Worksheet
can be used to envision your school’s Walk to School Day.
Schedule a brief meeting with the principal to get approval to host Walk to School Day in October. The following materials will support a succinct and productive discussion to secure permission for the event, confirm the day/time of event, review possible event activities and sample content to publicize the event and/or support a brief motivational speech by the principle, if interested, on the day of the event:
to make your school eligible for Walk to School Day. LADOT will provide access essential organizer materials, free posters and banners, outreach materials, incentives, safety tips and support as you need it. Upon registering, LADOT will reach out to you with information about organizer training and additional resources.
Once the event has been approved, begin outreach to parents and program providers (also potential recruits) using flyers and e-blasts to raise awareness about Walk to School Day. Copy and paste sample text below into emails or newsletters. Contact LADOT, if you need printed copies.
Use the Sample Activities Worksheet
to determine how many volunteers you need and what their roles will be. Possible roles include being greeters, photo takers, chaperones from Walking School Bus meeting spots, and participant counters. Use the Volunteer Contact Form
to collect names, contact information and desired roles so we can help you qualify them to participate.
Using your Sample Activities Worksheet to guide and confirm activities supported by your planning team. Email the Volunteer Contact Information Form to LADOT at email@example.com.
Use the Event Walking School Bus Guide to select suitable Walking School Bus meeting spots. LADOT will help you! On the day of your event, your qualified volunteers will meet guests and families at the selected meeting spots and guide the walk into school. Safety information for volunteers will be provided.
Use the following materials to energize school and community participation – hang posters, send emails and make phone calls. Send out the same reminders each week and two days and one day before the event.
It’s the big day! Reference your Volunteer Contact Form to review volunteers’ planned roles. Ask your volunteers to come an hour before the school day starts to assist.
- Set up the greeting table with materials you plan to give away that day, and any other information you plan to share.
- Organizer, chaperones, and volunteers sign the LAUSD Liability waiver form as they check in before the event.
- Provide volunteers the identifying apparel (LADOT will provide)
- Assign volunteers to their posts
- Assign volunteers to take photos, counts students as they walk through school entrances, collect quotes from kids and parents about their experience.
- Send Walking School Bus leaders to meeting locations 30 minutes before the event with Walking Safety Tips and Walking School Bus Routes to greet families and walk together in time to get back to school.
Great job! Take a bit of time to express your appreciation and provide LADOT valuable input for future Walk to School events.
- Write thank you notes to volunteers
- Upload your event photos to Instagram using #WalkToSchoolDayLA.
- Complete the post-event survey (LADOT will email you)
* Portions of this content were provided by the California Safe Routes to School Technical Assistance Resource Center, California Active Communities and the National Center for Safe Routes to School.
Use this condensed Organizer Event Checklist
if you still want to participate, but there is only a week until Walk to School Day
! Check off each step as you complete it leading up to the event.
Middle Schoolers, High Schoolers and parents can use the Walkability Checklist to describe their walk to school.
Hand out stickers to record how students commute to school on a Tally Poster. Click here
for tips on creating a fun Tally Poster. Cut out these Tally Poster Graphics
to represent the various travel modes, or use your own.
Safe Routes to School
to make everyday Walk to School Day
For more information on the City of Los Angeles Safe Routes to School Strategic Plan
Please visit the website for more information.
Connect and share with #WalkToSchoolDayLA
Register to be an Organizer
It’s as Easy as 1-2-3! SRTS-LA will support your team in organizing a successful event!
Upon registration, SRTS-LA will contact you to provide you and your event team with planning support and logistics, promotional materials and a large banner to make your event a big success! Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 323-942-9873 if you need help.