Fourteen 3rd-5th grade girls from Heartland will be representing the new â€œGirls on the Runâ€ group that was recently formed here in Henderson at the May 3rd annual event â€œGirls on the Run of York Countyâ€. Heartland 5th grade teacher Tara Maltsberger took on the challenge of forming a local chapter and is excited about what the 24 week program offers young girls.
â€œI learned about ‘Girls on the Run’ when I was teaching in York. After coming to Heartland, Lori Suddarth, who serves as the Council Director of the York group, encouraged me to start an affiliate chapter here in Henderson,â€ said Maltsberger. Three other Heartland teachers joined Maltsberger in getting the program off the ground and â€œrunningâ€â€”Stephanie Miller, Tami Peters, and Carrie Regier.
They started meeting in February twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays after school implementing the curriculum. â€œAt first it was a little hard to recruit the girls because the idea of attempting a 5K race seemed impossible. I didnâ€™t think I could do it either!â€ said Maltsberger. The girls eventually warmed up to the idea and it wasnâ€™t long before the new chapter had fourteen girls committed to the 24 week program.
The curriculum is not only based on promoting physical activity but it includes teaching life skills and healthy habits that promote confidence in a variety of fun ways. â€œLori Suddarth provided us with the weekly packets, making it very easy to implement the curriculum. The four of us split up presenting the lessons so it works really well,â€ said Maltsberger.
The local chapter was in action at the Heartland Jr. High track meet last week where they held a bake sale raising around $250. Part of the curriculum includes choosing a community impact project. The girls brainstormed and decided the funds they raised would go towards supporting the parks in Henderson.
A practice 5K was recently run on the Heartland track using a real finish line with onlookers cheering them on. Heartland principal Tim Carr and others also joined the girlsâ€™ practice race as an encouragement. The day of the actual event at the York High School track is very festive and includes hair styling and braiding for the girls prior to the race.
Although the Henderson chapter was led by teachers this year, Maltsberger would like to see some parents get involved. Anyone interested in volunteering can look at the York County website www.gotryorkcounty.org and learn more about the organization, its mission, and resources. The York county chapter is an affiliate council of â€œGirls on the Run Internationalâ€ which has a network of 200+ locations across the United States and Canada.
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