New program helps improve Lower Schoolers's physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
“In Girls on the Run, I’ve learned that you shouldn’t hide from people who are mean to you,” Juliet Forlano ’28 said. “You should always stand up for yourself politely.”
Ava Falcone, also a fourth grader, concurred. “We’ve learned that we can do anything.”
Girls on the Run, while new to Steward this year, is a national program that’s changed the lives of millions of third- through fifth-grade girls. The organization inspires “girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum that creatively integrates running.”
Having Girls on The Run at Steward is fitting since wellness is one of the main initiatives of the strategic plan, Compass 2022, explained Lower School teacher Laura Pruitt. She volunteered to lead our program along with Middle School Division Assistant Karen Ashworth and Lower School teachers Kris Marchant and Katy Koppanyi.
The group met twice a week this fall for a total of 22 sessions. At the end of the season, the girls participated in a Girls on the Run 5K with other area schools.
The sessions covered social-emotional topics such as making healthy choices, setting boundaries, understanding emotions, recognizing their strengths, and learning to be leaders. In each session, the group started with a discussion about the day’s topic and then continued the conversation with buddies (both children and adult) while running (or skipping or walking) around campus.
Mila Rene ’28 couldn’t contain her smile when asked about the program. “It makes me feel happy,” she said. Mission...accomplished.
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