By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Oct 08, 2013 at 10:35 AM

Thousands of Milwaukee Public School students and students across the world will be tying up their laces and pumping up their bike tires for International Walk and Bike to School Day on Wednesday, Oct. 9.

"Walking and biking to school is a forgotten but easy way to be healthy and reduce pollution and helps kids arrive ready to learn" says Jessica Binder, program and policy director for the Wisconsin Bike Fed.

In addition to walking school buses, safety classes, and treats for walkers and bikers, this year’s Walk and Bike to School Day also feature Fire Up Your Feet, a new online tracking program with cash prizes.

Over $2,000 will be awarded to schools this fall. It’s a great way to extend the energy of Walk and Bike to School Day.

How it Works

Fire Up Your Feet is a state of the art tracking and encouragement tool to help catalyze Safe Routes to School to new levels of success and participation. While the web-based tool is available year round, two challenge periods are conducted during the fall and spring semesters of the school year.

This fall’s challenge period is Oct. 7 to Nov. 1 in Wisconsin. The site provides backpack stuffers, posters and template email messages to participants and announcements for local and regional newspapers. Participants compete for cash Challenge Awards granted to schools with high participation to make improvements that boost physical activity such as the purchase of bike fleets, bike racks and safety education.

Schools can also use the website for fundraising with an option for people to make donations per walking and biking trip.

Local Walk and Bike to School Day Locations

If you need any more information, or are interested in getting this program started for your school, call Jake Newborn at (414) 581-1513 for details.  Most schools activities start at 7. Here are just a few events:

What is Fire Up Your Feet?

The Fire Up Your Feet program features an interactive website, educational materials and promotional events and opportunities targeting parents and students in K-8 schools. Fire Up Your Feet is launching nationally with key partnerships with the National PTA and Kaiser Permanente. It is a featured program of the First Lady’s initiative Let’s Move Active Schools.

Key partners including the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the Wisconsin Bike Fed, Madison Metropolitan School District, the East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission and La Crosse County, are launching the Activity Challenge program of Fire Up Your Feet to all K-8 schools in Wisconsin starting in Fall 2013. The program is a great compliment to Safe Routes to School programs.

The Wisconsin Bike Fed’s SRTS program gives effective and intensive bicycle and pedestrian education to thousands of students each year.