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DPT students help kids "Walk to School"

Elon students studying for their doctorate in physical therapy partnered this month with a local elementary school to teach the importance of physical fitness. The five students are responsible for a service-learning project during their final internships and organized a “Walk to School” morning for children at North Graham Elementary School. Details...

Elon students Alesha Phillips, Christopher Williams, Yash Hanspal, Lindsay Clark and Kim Shoemaker worked with 30 kids from North Graham Elementary School during an Oct. 3 "Walk to School" event the DPT students helped organize.

Thirty students rode a bus on Oct. 3 for additional help during a school break. Instead of stepping off at the front entrance, the students were driven to a nearby park, where the five Elon students - Alesha Phillips, Christopher Williams, Yash Hanspal, Lindsay Clark and Kim Shoemaker - led exercises and games with the help of elementary school staff.

“They looked at different ways of engaging elementary school kids in fun activities that might have an impact on fitness,” said Marianne Janssen, director of clinical education in the Department of Physical Therapy Education.

More than 2,700 schools from across the country organized an event of some kind as part of “International Walk to School Month,” according to the National Center for Safe Routes to School, which is part of the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center.

The North Graham event was sponsored by the Triad district of the North Carolina Physical Therapy Association as a way to celebrate National Physical Therapy Month. 

Fifty-one schools in North Carolina registered for an event in North Carolina. Individual schools decide for themselves what activities to sponsor. At North Graham Elementary School, those included walking laps on a track, a ball game, jumping rope and measuring steps with a pedometer.

“At the end, we were invited back for next year,” Janssen said. “We’re looking how to expand it a little bit.”


Eric Townsend,
Staff
10/11/2007 1:40 PM