Combining Safety, Fun, and Physical Activity
WalkingBus addresses the ERASMUS+ Sports objective of encouraging a healthy lifestyle for children. It supports walking as a means of commuting to school and after-school activities, combating sedentary habits. The project defines a “walking bus” as a supervised group of children walking to school along a designated route.
Concerningly, many children today lack regular exercise due to car transport to school, leading to long-term health issues. In Greece, 52% of child traffic fatalities are pedestrians; Italy reports 24%, and Turkey 41%. Obesity rates are high in these countries as well (13.8%, 12.5%, and 11.5% respectively).
WalkingBus aims to tackle this issue by creating Open Educational Resources (OERs) accessible to parents, children, educators, and trainers across Europe and beyond. Through the promotion of walking and a healthier lifestyle, the project seeks to improve children’s well-being and long-term health.
Start: 01-11-2023 – End: 31-10-2025
Project Reference: 101134614
EU Grant: 60.000 EUR
Key Action: ERASMUS-SPORT-2023-SSCP
Action Type: ERASMUS Lump Sum Grants
- ARISTOTELIO PANEPISTIMIO THESSALONIKIS (Greece)
- TERO MONOPROSOPI IKE (Greece)
- MINE VAGANTI NGO (Italy)
- KARASU GENCLIK SANAT VE SPOR KULUBUDERNEGI (Turkey)
- Health-enhancing physical activity;
- Social inclusion in and through sport
- Citizens (kids, parents, teachers, walkers);
- Authorities / Associations/ Industry / Policy makers;
- Participating organisations-Partners.
- Promote exercise, health and wellbeing;
- Reduce traffic and congestion around schools;
- Help the environment;
- Improve attendance and punctuality
- Save time for parents and care takers;
- Teach children key road safety skills.
APPROACH / METHODOLOGY
The WalkingBus project aims to provide training for parents, entire families, teachers, and other dedicated volunteers willing to support the community. All walking buses operating within the project, regardless of their size or level of formality, will adhere to safe routes and ensure adequate adult supervision. Participants will be well-versed in pedestrian safety behaviors.
This particular aspect of the project, predominantly executed during Work Package 2, focuses on developing the foundation and theoretical framework for the WalkingBus intervention. The process begins with the introduction of a template that partners will use to collect information from their respective countries and beyond, concerning school buses and similar initiatives. Good practice examples gathered will serve as the basis for constructing the WalkingBus manuals
- Research and Analysis: Analyze existing interventions promoting walking for children.
- Manual and Curriculum Development: Collect evidence and create manuals for trainers, instructors, and parents, along with a theoretical module for kids.
- Instructor Training: Provide training to instructors (teachers, partners, volunteers) on running walking buses, emphasizing safety and environmental aspects.
- WalkingBus Design: Design the structure and content of the WalkingBus in collaboration with partners.
- Citizen Participation and Design: Apply citizen participation methods, involving kids and parents in the design.
- ‘Train the Walker’ Manual Development: Develop the ‘Train the Walker’ manual, covering setup, recruitment, safety, and routes.
- Best Practice Analysis: Identify and analyze at least 15 relevant walking interventions for best practice insights.
- Implementation Supervision: Supervise the implementation of WalkingBuses in partner countries, ensuring compliance with requirements.
- Multi-Round Implementation: Each country will run three rounds of buses with approximately 15 kids each.
- Impact Evaluation: Evaluate the impact of the WalkingBus action, involving parents, kids, trainers, and volunteers. Assess increased walking and identify potential barriers.
- Stakeholder Analysis: Analyze key stakeholders involved in walking initiatives.
- Promotion and Awareness: Conduct promotional activities and events to raise awareness.