Right of Passage – 4th Graders Walk to Wellness

Right of Passage – 4th Graders Walk to Wellness

For the past 25 years Moore Elementary School in Franklin TN has conducted a "right of passage" for the graduating 4th graders. We have completed this project which consists of training for 8 weeks after school four days a week and then completing a two day 28 mile walk (hike) on the Natchez Trace Parkway and trails. We have seen well over 2000 students train and complete this journey of accomplishment. We were all inspired to do this project by Rob Sweetgall (1947-2017) who came and introduced our school system to walking as the best form of exercise. He co-wrote a small book called "Road Scholars" which detailed a 4 day 48 mile walk in Massachusetts with the Fort River Elementary school 5th graders. This book motivated us to design our own special walk and encourage many students to set goals and achieve them through this project. It is my hope that this will long continue even after most of us have retired and moved on with our lives. The same question is asked of me when I run into alumni students who have long since graduated from college and have started families of their own......" Do you still do the walk?" "That is my favorite memory of growing up in Franklin." We are proud of this tradition and the effect it has had on so many students.

John P.
Franklin, TN