National Walk to School Day Event in Durham County

In North Carolina’s Plan to Prevent Overweight and Obesity: Balance How We Eat, Drink, and Move, strategies to prevent obesity are organized by setting. For the School setting, one strategy is to “implement policies to enhance infrastructure that supports bicycling and walking to school.”

On a wet and overcast Friday in October (October 8, 2021), a group of about 30 students and parents from Hope Valley Elementary School in Durham, NC, gathered for a Walk to School event. A school PTA member had contacted a church located about 1/2 mile from the school and asked if families could park there on the morning of the event. Thanks to the church’s support, the group gathered in the church parking lot and then mobilized for the 10-minute walk to the school. Thanks to Durham’s efforts to support pedestrians, sidewalks were available all the way to the school.

As stated on the Walk & Bike to School website at, the purpose of a Walk to School event is to lead to changes in policies or physical environments that support safe walking, biking, and wheeling every day, not just for special events. Perhaps hosting a Walk to School event can be a “first step” in creating advocates who will ask for policies and environments that support active living in the future.

Mark your calendar now for National Bike to School Day on May 4, 2022, and consider supporting an event in your community!

Submitted by Jenni Albright