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Simcoe Muskoka On The Move

Simcoe Muskoka On the Move is an active school travel initiative led by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit in partnership with several local school boards, schools, municipalities and community partners. The initiative was funded by the Ontario Active School Travel Fund from the Ministry of Education. Green Communities Canada - Ontario Active School Travel managed the Fund and provided leadership, training and resources.

Simcoe Muskoka On the Move  is an initiative whose goal is to support children to reach the goal of at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily by using active forms of transportation in a safe and sustainable way (i.e. walking, cycling, skateboarding, rollerblading and scooting) for their school journey.

After successfully obtaining funding, the initiative began in 2019 with the formation of a Project Steering Committee, and a kick-off meeting was held in May 2019. The purpose of the Project Steering Committee is to oversee the planning, implementation and evaluation of the On the Move initiative. The Committee shares information, resources and decision-making and discusses approaches for the region of Simcoe and Muskoka – such as how to keep things moving forward after the funding ends.

On the Move activities have included:

  • Holding a media launch event.
  • Inviting and selecting local elementary schools to participate. Assigning Public Health Nurses to work with participating schools using the School Travel Planning Model.
  • Forming Active School Travel (AST) committees at participating schools to gather data and develop an AST Action Plan for their school.
  • Developing an On the Move logo and brand.
  • Creating On the Move communication tools (E.g., banners, flags, social media messages).
  • Creating a series of On the Move videos to promote active school travel.
  • Conducting a policy scan to review local school board and municipal policies.
  • Planning school community sidewalk and crosswalk painting activities.

It is expected that the On the Move initiative will increase awareness of the important role active school travel plays in developing healthy kids (including increasing daily physical activity), a healthy school community and a healthier community overall. It is also expected that more parents and students will use active school travel more often and additional local schools, school boards and municipalities will support active school travel by using the School Travel Planning model.

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