WOW - Walk on Wednesday or Walk Once a Week
WOW is a scheme which aims to promote walking to school on a regular basis. The scheme began in the UK and has been very successful with both primary and secondary schools. The idea behind the scheme is to dedicate one day a week to walking to school. Ideally schools promote walking to school every Wednesday, however if this isn't suitable schools can choose any day of the week once it's on a regular basis. The scheme is a great way to encourage children to walk and in turn it creates a walking culture within the school. If schools can't promote walking to school once a week they can hold a Walk Whenever day to increase awareness of walking amongst the school population.
The Walking Bus is a great initiative to run once there is a strong walking culture established in the school. The initiative requires a large amount of committment and the majority of walking buses running in Ireland are organised by parents & volunteers. If you want to learn more about setting up a walking bus click here. If you are currently running a Walking Bus please let us know as we want to learn from your experiences and share them with other schools throughout the country.
Golden Boot Challenge
The Golden Boot Challenge is a great way to promote alternative modes of transport on the school run. Students score points when they walk, cycle, carshare, park n ride or use public transport to school. The challenge is a great way to start some friendly competition amongst classes and the challenge can be run every week, month or term. The class with the highest score is awarded the coveted Golden Boot Award for their efforts. The challenge has been running for a number of years and has become so successful that schools compete against each other for the award!
Schools can draw, build or use a tree in their school grounds for this project and hopefully over the term schools can turn their ‘trees' from brown to green. Children who walk, cycle, use public transport, car pool or park n stride will get a green ‘leaf' every morning which they place on the tree. Children who are driven to school get a brown leaf and hopefully over the course of the term the children who are driven will get a chance to place a green leaf on the tree. The project is a very visible way to promote alternative modes of transport and ideally it can be run along with WOW days.
Cycle training is useful if schools wish to promote cycling on a regular basis. Cycle training usually takes place over a six week period and addresses issues relating to cycle safety and skills and on road experience. If you are interested in finding out more about cycle training in your area contact your Local Authority or alternatively the Green-Schools Travel team.
COW - Cycle on Wednesday's or Cycle Once a Week
Have a COW or get mooooving! COW operates in the same way as WOW, so get your bike out and get cycling to school or where ever takes your fancy. Cycling is a great form of exercise and it is also a cheap mode of transport, it will get you to and from school quicker and it is fun for all the family! Just remember to wear your protective gear before hitting the roads!
Bike maintenance classes are a good way to encourage children to use their bikes on the journey to school. Often children have bikes at home but are unable to fix a flat tire or attach their lights. By providing bike maintenance classes children will gain new skills and hopefully use their bikes regularly. The best people to approach about bike maintenance classes are local bike shops, bike enthusiasts and your Local Authority.