Skip to main content

 Good News: SRU graduate's step project sends students around the earth 



SRU Good News for March 29, 2010


SRU graduate's step project sends students around the earth

Jonathan Despot, 2008 Slippery Rock University health and physical education graduate and a current master's degree student who is now teaching at Altoona [Pa.] Area Junior High School, knows that any project begins with the first step.

He took his master's degree requirement to implement a change within his field one step further�in fact, 1,491,140 steps further as coordinator for his school's new Cougar Club. The club, open to fourth- fifth- and sixth-graders, is intended to get students active. 

A story in the Altoona Mirror newspaper tells how Despot equipped his 29 students with pedometers for games of kickball, dodge ball and other activities, and then tallied their steps. The first million steps, nearly 600 miles, were recorded in the club's first 20 meetings.

Teambuilding, cooperation and sportsmanship were emphasized he said. Prizes went to those recording the most steps.

            "With the whole obesity thing, I wanted to get them up and moving - get them active," he said. "If they can leave this program with a positive attitude about physical activity, then I've achieved my goal."

More than 85 teams are now participating in a related wellness project dubbed "Altoona Area High School Goes Global." The project has blossomed to include a goal for teams to walk 25,000 miles - a distance equal to the earth's circumference. The project will involve pledges to help local food banks.


Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives. 


Editor's Note: The successes of our friends and colleagues at the University are something we should all celebrate�and share. The University Public Relations Office has introduced a daily E-feature to share a good news story about a person, program, activity or service associated with Slippery Rock University. When good news happens to you, please let us know so we might share it with others. Submit items through campus e-mail to: -


Do not reply to this e-mail

This e-mail is distributed by University Public Relations

Click here to view the Economic Impact Report

Click here to view the Economic Impact Report