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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Dane County in partnership with the Healthy Kids Collaborative of Dane County and the Wisconsin Bike Fed have a grant to increase the number of students who safely walk and bike to school. In addition, the City of Madison and the Madison Metropolitan School District work closely with the Dane County Safe Routes to School program.

  • Healthier children. In 1969, 40% of students walked or bike to school. By 2001 only 13% of children walked or biked to school. As a result, kids today are less active, less independent, and less healthy. Regular physical activity helps kids build strong bodies and minds.

  • Better academic performance. Peer-reviewed studies suggest that regular physical activity boosts academic achievement.

  • Cleaner Environment and Less Traffic Congestion. As much as 20 to 30% of morning traffic can be generated by parents driving their children to schools.



Walk or Wheel Challenge - October 2019

The WOW Challenge is a one-week walking and biking competition between Dane County schools that coincides with International Walk to School Day on Wednesday, October 2. The WOW Challenge asks schools to organize and plan activities that are proven to increase walking and biking to school and make it safer to do so. Last year dozens of schools across Dane County participated in the WOW Challenge, and many saw huge increases in walking and biking--and huge decreases in traffic--as a result.

How does it work? 

  • The WOW Challenge is a one-week walking and biking competition between Dane County Schools. Schools can choose to host their events/activities any week in October
  • Participating schools will earn points based on how many things they do to encourage students to walk or bike to school during their WOW Challenge week
  • The top 4 schools will each win $250
  • All participating schools will receive a "resource box" with raffle prizes for students who walk or wheel in the challenge
  • All participating schools will receive a short “participation guide” that provides information about how to participate in the challenge, resources, and tips (attached).
  • If you sign up, a resource person will be in contact with you within a week to provide resources and support as needed
  • All participating students, families, and schools benefit from the increased physical activity, school spirit, and exercise fun that WOW Challenge activities can spark

My school wants to participate in the WOW Challenge! What do we do next? Fill out the WOW Challenge Sign Up on Google Forms. It takes just 2-3 minutes and will help us know how to support, promote, highlight, and celebrate your WOW Challenge activities this October.

What if my school just wants to do a one-day event for Walk to School Day (October 2)?

Fantastic! Please still fill out the WOW Challenge Sign Up.  We’d love to include your activities in our press announcements and events calendar.


Please contact Dane County SRTS Coordinator Shawn Koval,, with questions about the Dane County Safe Routes to Schools program.