Fit Girls spring programs expanded to include sixth grade girls
WILTON - It is amazing when a parent tells you her daughter "found her voice in Fit Girls.”
Fit Girls is more than a running and reading program for girls. It is a confidence builder, a way for girls to break through, discover who they are and persevere, a friendship builder, a chance to shine and getting to the finish line is just the beginning. Giving girls in the RSU 9 schools an opportunity to develop an active and healthy lifestyle early on will help these girls overcome some of the challenges they face, and hopefully have a significant impact to keep them active throughout their middle school years and beyond.
Fit Girls of Wilton became a 501(c)(3) charitable organization two years ago. Fit Girls is always trying to improve its financial plan by being efficient in the programs delivered. The budget is small but they try to do big things. This past spring the program expanded to a third site to include Cascade Brook School as part of a partnership with the Carol White PEP Grant through the Healthy Community Coalition and RSU 9. Now, because of this continued support, sixth-grade girls will have an opportunity to participate in Fit Girls after school as well. They will have a chance to participate in yoga activities, as well as non-competitive running. In all, more than 300 girls have participated in the programs over the past four years.
Deb Aseltine, Fit Girls director said thanks to donations received through grants, such as the Carol M. White PEP grant and a Component Fund Grant from The Maine Community Foundation, Fit Girls was able to expand its programs while continuing to keep it a zero cost program to the girls. "Fit Girls is very appreciative from the support received from community organizations such as Tyngtown and the Wilton Lions Club and local businesses like Franklin Savings Bank and Western Mountain Financial Services," she said.
The programs could not excel without the support from its volunteers.
Aseltine would like to thank Rose Hines, Katie Perry, Merrily Welch, Patti Murray, Sarah Reynolds, Anna Frechette, Tiffany Whitney and Julia Daly. She also would like to thank Alyce Cavanaugh, health coordinator for RSU 9 and Laurie Soucy, Carol White PEP Grant director and Dr. Tom Ward, superintendent of schools.
Aseltine noted that, "our schools offer a safe environment to run after school programs like Fit Girls. Girls benefit tremendously by both physical activity and reading at early ages. The girls in the Fit Girl’s program, set goals and strive towards achieving them. They develop a better understanding of self, value relationships and see how they are connected to the community."
Through engaging in healthy non-competitive running activities during the weekly sessions and community service, they gain a greater self-respect and a compassion for others, she added. Ultimately, the girls run a 5K at the end of each semester.
For more information about the fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade spring programs starting the first week of April, please visit the fit girls website: www.fitgirlsofwiltonmaine.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.