School Pick-Up Lines: Stop Idling and Move More!

Kelsey Allen, MPH, CHES
Manager for Community Initiatives

Sit and wait. That’s the usual routine for parents and guardians of car riders at most schools. Dropping off and picking up children takes a lot of time, especially for parents who like to get there early. Listening to the radio or catching up on social media burns time, but there’s a healthier alternative in Anderson School District 4.

Because Anderson School District 4 is a health-conscience school district, personnel had the bright idea of encouraging parents to get out of their cars and spend that precious wait time walking. How much more active would that make parents? How much of a good influence would it be on the children to see their parents out walking when they leave school for the day?

With this in mind, Anderson School District 4 partnered with Eat Smart Move More (ESMM) Anderson County and the United Way of Anderson County to create and post signage that encourages parents to get out and walk during this time of day. ESMM Anderson County was one of six communities selected to receive funding from ESMM South Carolina over a three-year period, through a grant from the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Using these funds, ESMM Anderson County purchased and installed signs at schools in Anderson School District 4.

Five different signs prompting Did You Know questions and answers were created:

  • Walking one mile can burn almost 100 calories.
  • Walking one mile a day can improve your mental health, boost your mood, and make you feel more alert.
  • You can burn 100 calories just by walking for 15 minutes.
  • Walking decreases your risk for high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, and leads to a longer life!
  • Small changes make a big difference. Stop idling and get active!

Since the installation of the signs, school personnel have observed parents moving more during the pick-up wait time. School and community cultures of health are built on small steps such as these that encourage healthy behaviors, raise awareness, and decrease barriers.  The partnership between ESMM Anderson County and Anderson School District 4 is a great example of two entities with a common goal can work together and come up with a creative solution. Here’s to a healthier District 4 and Anderson County!