Saturday, June 4, 2016, 40 girls in grades 3-8 at BFA Elementary/Middle School participated in the Girls on the Run/Heart & Sole 5K event at the Champlain Valley Expo in Essex. This celebratory, non-competitive event is the culminating experience of a 10 week program. Completing the 5k gives the girls a tangible understanding of the confidence that comes through accomplishment as well as a framework for setting and achieving life goals.
These girls met two days a week for 90 minutes each day from March to June. The girls not only developed their skills as runners, they participated in activities designed to encourage positive emotional, social, mental, and physical development. Participants explored and discussed their own beliefs around experiences and challenges that girls face. They also developed important strategies and skills to help them navigate life experiences.
The program began with helping the girls develop a better understanding of who they are and what is important to them. Then, they looked at the importance of teamwork and healthy relationships. Finally, the girls explored how they can positively connect with and shape the world. Physical activity is woven into the program to inspire an appreciation of fitness and to build habits that lead to a lifetime of health.