Clarke County second-graders participate in UGA public health field trip

experienceuga2015Approximately 1,300 second-grade students in the Clarke County School District visited the University of Georgia campus April 7-10 during National Public Health Week for a field trip that introduced them to basic health principles through hands-on activities with UGA students.

Sponsored by Athens Regional Medical Center, the event was part of Experience UGA, an initiative that aims to bring all Clarke County students to UGA’s campus for an annual field trip to experience learning on a college campus, explore college options and interact with UGA students. This trip was organized by students in UGA’s College of Public Health.

Each day, groups of approximately 250 students from three to four different schools visited UGA’s Stegeman Coliseum from 9:30-11 a.m. participating in four stations focused on nutrition, hand-washing and germ spread, physical activity and bullying prevention. Each station included a Q&A session where students learned basic principles followed by a hands-on activity or game. The event was staffed by more than 100 UGA undergraduate and graduate students from numerous schools and colleges.

“I think it is important to connect younger populations with public health concepts to support the development of positive attitudes toward health and to empower kids with some autonomy in their health behaviors,” said Deenene Chandler, event organizer and Master of Public Health candidate. “I hope the students attending the trip leave feeling that healthy behaviors like being active, choosing healthy foods, washing their hands and preventing bullying can be fun and easy.”

Experience UGA is a partnership launched in 2014 between the Clarke County School District, UGA Office of Service-Learning, College of Education’s Office of School Engagement, and other units on campus. This year the trips included eight grade levels. Nearly 10,000 students out of 13,000 students in the Clarke County School District have visited the UGA campus this year.

Posted April 20. 2015.