Quitman Lower Elementary continues its campaign for good health. It started with a "Health and Fitness Train" mural, and now the school has a new half-mile walking track that is open for the whole community.
A more than $50,000 grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield funded the project. came from Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Principal James Bounds said he wants his students to be more healthy and promote health and fitness throughout the community.
"We as people seem to be creatures of habit. If we can instill at an early the value of making good choices for our health, possibly we'll have a lasting impact on young people for the rest of their lives," said Bounds. "After you have had a structured walking program from pre-k through 2nd grade, I think we'll tend to think that's what we're supposed to do."
"It shows what a school and a community can do together," said state Sen. Videt Carmichael. "With all the joint efforts, we see a fantastic walking trail that not only represents good health and 'Let's Keep Walking,' it represents pride in the community, pride in the school, pride in this whole county."
Students and guests took the first walk around the track Thursday.
"It was great. I wish I had this at my home in Rankin County by the water," said Jean Massey, director of accreditation for the Mississippi Department of Education. "This is a great place to walk. It's a great opportunity for the kids and for the adults in this community to get out and to see and use the facilities here at school. We're all about having the community be a part of the school, so this is a great opportunity."