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Winter Walk Day, February 3, 2016

On the main floor of the Davis Service Center hangs the painting First Snow of the Year by MPS teacher Elissa Cedarleaf Dahl.  In it  a young couple leans together on a bench, snuggled in winter koselig as the sky glimmers with the daytime sunset colors born from the low winter sun. Three children toss fistfuls of snow into the air. The look on their faces—pure joy.  This art and this finding of joy in winter inspires Winter Walk Day this year. And this finding joy in winter is a real thing, with real consequences for those who practice it.  Indeed recent research found that “people who had a positive wintertime mindset tended to be the same people who were highly satisfied with their lives and who pursued personal growth.” Read more.

More than 20 schools have registered for the second annual Winter Walk Day in Minneapolis Public Schools. We will join families across Canada, Vermont and beyond to celebrate the joys of winter walking! Celebrate on February 3 or on whatever day works for the school community. Has my school signed up? See the list here.

Plan and Promote
Events can be as simple as announcing “It’s Winter Walk Day” and giving  "I WALKED" stickers and drawing tickets to walkers as they arrive. Coffee for parents outside and perhaps a little music takes the event a little further. Organizing a meet up point and walking together is even more elaborate (and more fun too). Last year some schools organized a school-wide walk during the school day so everyone could participate. 
Whatever you decide—be sure to promote your event. Hall posters, PA announcements, newsletters, robo-calls, and flyers are all ways to promote your event. Student groups and parent groups can also be helpful for promotion.
These flyers are ready to go for February 3, 2016, events. The text may also be helpful for PA announcements or robo calls . You can easily change the date or add or subtract event details too.
ENGLISH~HMONG: FEB 3 Winter Walk Day      word      pdf 
ENGLISH~SOMALI: FEB 3 Winter Walk Day       word      pdf
ENGLISH~SPANISH: FEB 3 Winter Walk Day       word      pdf
SIMPLE with white space        word     pdf
SIMPLE with snowflakes         word      pdf
Prize Package:
Prize packages will be delivered to the school at least a week before your event. Do let us know if you do NOT want any of these prizes. REGISTER EARLY! All prizes are while supplies last.
  • I WALKED stickers for all participants (THANK YOU MnDOT)
  • Some color copies of the above fliers for posting at your school
  • Minneapolis Walking Routes for Youth Maps (THANK YOU Minneapolis Public Works!)
  • Special something just for high schools and middle schools.
  • Rethink Your Drink materials: https://rethinkyourdrink.minneapolismn.gov/resources/
For Prize Drawings:
  • 2+ Theodore Wirth Snow Tubing passes (THANK YOU Minneapolis Park Board!)
  • Cute winter hats (THANK YOU Allina!)
  • Water bottles (THANK YOU AAA!)
  • Hula hoop or other active-play surprises (THANK YOU Minneapolis Health Department) or special surprise for high schools and middle schools 

FITBIT STAFF PRIZE DRAWING: STAFF who WALK and BIKE can enter the MPS staff drawing for a FitBit by emailing mps.wellness@mpls.k12.mn.us the names of staff walkers/bikers by the end of the day February 5, 2016. 

Safety Tips
Pedestrian Safety Tips Sheets: http://www.walkbiketoschool.org/keep-going/pedestrian-safety
Pedestrian Safety video (grades k-2) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOzcBegFTMk
Winter Fun and Winter Safety: http://emss.mpls.k12.mn.us/winter_fun_safety
Some students really, really want to walk  to school but cannot. Some schools take a school-wide walks during the day to get everyone involved. Recess walking also allows more children to participate. Another suggestion: students could write walking or commit to walking somewhere outside of school to receive a sticker and/or be included in other incentives. Here are suggestions for including children with disabilities in event: http://www.walkbiketoschool.org/get-set/plan-the-event/access-for-all-students