Florence High School Medical Science Academy
Florence High School Medical Science Academy (Rankin County School District) with Performance Therapy Florence, Farm Bureau, Rankin County Junior Auxiliary. The Class of 2021 Medical Science Academy set out to develop a community service project that could include the entire community of Florence, while also incorporating knowledge they had learned throughout their four years in the program. With a focus on fitness, nutrition, and getting the community active, students created “Get Fit Florence”.
The Class of 2021 Medical Science Academy set out to develop a community service project that could include the entire community of Florence, while also incorporating knowledge they had learned throughout their four years in the program. With a focus on fitness, nutrition, and getting the community active, students created “Get Fit Florence". Get Fit Florence was a student-led service project that challenged the city of Florence to walk and log 2021 miles over a one week time period. The students wanted as many members of the community to be involved as possible, so they began promoting the project on social media and looking for ways to include local businesses. The whole project was turned into a competition with a plan to award prizes to individuals and businesses who logged the most miles. The senior class students were responsible for all aspects of creating and implementing this project into the community. Students contacted local businesses and collected prizes that would be awarded. They also contacted all the faculty and staff of the two elementary schools, one middle school, and high school in our town. Flyers were created and passed out at local businesses. Social media posts were made and shared across multiple platforms regularly leading up to the week of the event. While social media was used to promote the event, it was also used to share nutritional information, recipes, and facts. During the planning, students formed the biggest partnership, with Performance Therapy Florence. This is a relatively new Physical Therapy clinic in our town, and they have been looking for ways to get involved in the community. They worked with us to create the 1st ever Florence Walking Club. They created social media accounts, had flyers and signs made, and promoted the club throughout our community. They set specific times to meet at our local park and walk as a group. After getting the club started, they helped us promote our event and made sure all their members logged miles through our online platform to help us reach our goal.
The week of logging miles threw the students a few curve balls. There were days where the weather was not ideal . However, the community rallied behind our students and worked to help reach the goal. Teachers at all schools took breaks from their classrooms and brought students outside to walk a few laps around the track. No matter the time of day, you could always ride by the local park and see people walking laps. As always, it came down to the very last day but in the end, the students were able to document 2028.9 miles with over 1000 entries logged into the online platform. The community support received was refreshing and the eagerness of people wanting to get out and exercise led to an additional project being created. With the high participation in the “Get Fit Florence” event and the creation of the new Florence Walking Club, the Medical Science Academy decided to team up again with Performance Therapy and plan a 5K in our town. It has been years since a 5K was held in the city limits of Florence, but we knew the willingness to participate was there. Performance Therapy took the reins and set the date for August 2021. They created this event as a fundraiser for our Medical Science Academy, as well as the brand-new Health Science Academy at McLaurin High School.
The August 2021 date gave us enough time to promote the event throughout our community. Once again, we worked on getting sponsorships for the race, but more importantly, we used social media for advertising and promoting the event. We only had 4 months to do this, and no one was experienced in putting on such a large event. With a lot of hard work from local businesses and our students, the event happened August 21, 2021. The goal was to have between 75 and 100 racers registered for this first event. On the day of, we ended up with 159 registered. Even though Performance Therapy put the race on, there were many groups involved in making it happen. The Florence High School Medical Science Academy and McLaurin High School Health Science Academy students worked to pass out water and direct traffic around the course. Tanner Wilson from Farm Bureau supplied all the water to be passed out at the end of the race. He even showed up the day of to pass it out himself. The staff from Performance Therapy and the Rankin County Junior Auxiliary worked the registration tables and passed out awards. While there were a lot of racers present that day, there were close to just as many community members there volunteering.
When the students created the “Get Fit Florence” event in the Spring of 2021, they anticipated that it would be a one-time thing and initially just wanted to reach their goal of 2021 miles to represent their graduating class. No one ever anticipated it turning into an even bigger event that will more than likely now be a recurring event each year. The students worked hard creating relationships with businesses around the community. They were able to improve on their networking skills, learn how to advertise on social media, and improve their community all while achieving a goal they set for themselves. The outcome of that event can still be seen around our community with the walking club and a date already set for the Spring 2022 for another race to be held.