Walking and rolling to school around the world (and Alameda County)

Bianca Taylor Headshot

Wednesday, October 7 was a worldwide affair.

That morning, kids from more than 40 countries laced up their sneakers and strapped on their helmets to participate in International Walk and Roll to School Day. International Walk and Roll to School Day marks a week-long celebration of kids walking, biking, scooting, skating, carpooling, or riding the bus to school to get active, spare our air from harmful car pollution, and have fun while doing it!

And thanks to our Safe Routes to Schools (SR2S) program, kids, parents, and teachers throughout Alameda County got to join in on the fun in a big way.


This year 31,578 students from 130 schools in Alameda County participated – that’s 6,000 more students than last year! Here’s the breakdown of how everyone got to school:

  • 44% walked
  • 15% rolled (biked, skated, scootered)
  • 12% carpooled 
  • 4% rode transit
  • 25% arrived by car

And students aren’t the only ones who get fired up about ditching their normal car-routine to get to school.

According to Shirley Clem, Principal at Otis Elementary in Alameda, adults and even elected officials got to join the fun: “This year we danced the Whip nae nae, and we experienced great energy and enthusiasm when our parents, a local policeman, Assemblymember Rob Bonta (below) and other VIP's danced along with us. Walk and Roll Days are a fantastic way for our community to get connected with each other in our efforts to build healthy habits for ourselves and our world!”

Assemblymember Rob Bonta joined 600 students at Otis Elementary High School in doing jumping jacks, push ups, lunges, and dancing.

At several schools, some students went the extra mile (literally!) to get to school car-free.

Sandra, a Safe Routes to Schools champion volunteer in Berkeley, reported back with this impressive news: “At least 3 families told me they purposely walked today rather than drove specifically because of this event. One family with a 3rd grader and a 5th grader walked 2.5 miles, and arrived on time!”

And at Sankofa Academy in north Oakland, volunteers spied a student arriving by bicycle just as they were packing up.  It was her first time ever biking to school, and she didn’t have a lock along – but soon her mom showed up, who had jogged behind her trying to keep up, all the way to school. Her mom reported that after her daughter heard about Walk and Roll to School Day, she wanted to give biking a try.  She followed along to walk the bike home since they didn’t own a bike lock.

Walk and Roll to School Day is just one of the many events that Safe Routes to Schools puts on throughout the year to help get kids excited about walking and rolling to school, and help parents and teachers get them there safely. From the annual Golden Sneaker Contest to visits from the BikeMobile, there are lots of chances for your school to get involved.

Join the Safe Routes to Schools program in Alameda County or find a SR2S program near you.

The Alameda County Safe Routes to Schools Program is funded and administered by the Alameda County Transportation Commission.

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