Clemson public health students -- along with the Tiger, Clemson football players and other university students -- pose with Pendleton schoolchildren participating in Walk to School Day.

Clemson public health students — along with the Tiger, Clemson football players and other university students — pose with Pendleton schoolchildren participating in Walk to School Day.
Image Credit: Sarah Griffin

The Clemson Department of Public Health Sciences’ community health class joined with the Anderson Four School District and a local nonprofit to hold a Walk to School Day at Pendleton Elementary School and Pendleton’s Riverside Middle School March 5.

”The event highlights the importance of walking as a form of exercise, and how fun it can be to walk to school. Most importantly, it brings together the entire community for a positive community-building activity,” stated Sarah Griffin, associate professor in public health sciences at Clemson.

The public health sciences students, along with the Clemson Tiger mascot, several football players and volunteers from the Sigma Kappa sorority, also greeted the schoolchildren as they prepared to walk as a group to their perspective schools, and participated in the walk to show their support for the event.

“Through helping to plan and implement the Walk to School Day in Pendleton, our public health students got a chance to be a part of a project that emphasizes the importance of community infrastructure and collaboration to promote a healthy behavior,” Griffin added.

The Walk to School Day was sponsored by the Anderson Four school district with assistance from Pendleton Pride in Motion, a nonprofit group committed to making Pendleton a healthier place to live. The event was held in conjunction with South Carolina Walk to School Day.

“We were thrilled to have the participation of the Clemson students. They bring energy and excitement to the event, and the elementary and middle school kids look up to them and see them as leaders. If walking to school is cool to college students, then it must be alright for them to do,” stated Powell Hickman, chair of Pendleton Pride in Motion.

The community health students’ future project will be collaborating with Pendleton Pride in Motion to host a 5K walk on April 12.

— Mary Pat Kiser ’14