On May 8th, communities across Iowa and beyond will come together to participate in Walk, Bike, and Roll to School Day. This annual event promotes healthier, more sustainable lifestyles by encouraging students, parents, and educators to ditch the car and instead walk, bike, or roll to school.

Excitingly, this year’s Walk, Bike, and Roll to School Day is shaping up to be the biggest yet in Iowa, with over 40 schools already signed up to participate. From bustling urban centers to serene rural communities, schools across the state are embracing the opportunity to promote physical activity, reduce traffic congestion, and foster a sense of community spirit.

What’s even more encouraging is that it’s not too late for your school to get involved! Whether you’re a parent, teacher, or community member, anyone can sign up their school to participate at https://www.walkbiketoschool.org/registration. By registering your school, you’ll join a growing movement dedicated to creating healthier, happier communities.

Planning a successful Walk, Bike, and Roll to School Day event is easier than you might think. Here are some tips to help you get started:

1. Choose a remote location for all students to start from, such as a local park or community center. This not only encourages physical activity but also ensures that all students can participate even if they live too far to walk or bike to school. This is a great option for rural schools. Hinton School District is doing this to ensure all students, even those that take the bus, can participate and are not excluded from the event.

2. Have volunteers greet the students as they arrive at school, cheering them on and celebrating their efforts to participate in the event. This creates a festive atmosphere and reinforces the sense of community spirit while providing positive reinforcement. Longfellow Elementary in Iowa City will have parents at every corner around the school to make sure no student goes ungreeted.

3. If you plan to give away snacks or refreshments, opt for healthier options like bananas, apples, or granola bars instead of sugary treats like donuts or candy. This promotes healthy eating habits and provides students with the energy they need to start their day off right.

4. Invite local officials, police, and/or fire department. Get the whole community involved and have local officials get in on the action and greet or walk with the students on the way to school. Clarke Elementary in Osceola had the mayor at school greeting the students as they came by.

5. Get creative and have students make banners, signs, and chalk art at school. A great way to promote the day is to get the students involved and let them explore their creativity. Lincoln Elementary in Dubuque did this last year with a large festive banner.

Walk, Bike, and Roll to School Day isn’t just about transportation – it’s about building connections, promoting wellness, and instilling lifelong habits of physical activity. So, lace up your sneakers, dust off your bike, and join us on May 8th as we embrace the joy of active transportation and celebrate the countless benefits it brings to our communities. Together, let’s make every step, pedal, and roll count towards a brighter, healthier future.