Elementary Girls Gain Fitness & Self Development Counsel with Girls on the Run Program

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Staff and parents of students at Southwest Elementary School are thankful for a new program opportunity that will teach 20 young girls about self-esteem and physical fitness. The 12-week Girls on the Run program, is supported by The Children’s Obesity Fund and its cofounders, Julian Omidi and Dr. Michael Omidi.

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Programs like this are critical for our school's population.

Twenty young girls from the third through fifth grades of Southwest Elementary School in Lexington, North Carolina will participate in a 12-week program focused on building self-esteem and promoting physical fitness. The school appreciates the generosity the Omidi brothers, and their non-profit, The Children’s Obesity Fund, and the local J. Smith Young YMCA in Lexington, North Carolina for providing the materials, coaches and training. This special program is based on the national model of Girls on the Run and combines training for a non-competitive running event with lessons that help young women to recognize and honor their individual strengths and talents.

“Southwest Elementary is a Title One School who serves a very diverse socioeconomic community” according to Kim Britt, Principal of Southwest Elementary School. “Programs like this are critical for our school's population. The girls need assistance and training in the two program tenants: caring for themselves and believing in their talents and abilities. We’re expecting great things from these girls as a result of this opportunity and look forward to celebrating their new sense of empowerment and accomplishment.”

Girls on the Run lessons inspire young ladies to celebrate their bodies, honor their voices, recognize their gifts, and activate their power. With a detailed curriculum of games, activities, discussions, and running, girls experience the joy of simply being themselves. The 12-week program concludes with a celebration of the girls’ success with participation in a non-competitive 5k (3.1 mile) walk/run.

During the course of the program, the girls at Southwest Elementary School will receive health and fitness coaching from Stacie Thompson, one of the school’s counselors. Daily meetings will be held before school over breakfast and the girls will run training laps together during recess. The Southwest Elementary team will run together in the Run Run Rudolph 5K race scheduled for December 8, 2013 in Lexington to celebrate the program’s completion.

Cofounded by Julian Omidi and Dr. Michael Omidi, the Children’s Obesity Fund (http://www.childrensobesityfund.org) hopes to help reverse the trend of rising obesity rates in America. The goal of the non-profit organization is to help people fully understand the obesity issue and its dire impacts on individuals and society as a whole -- and to use that knowledge to encourage children to grow up strong and healthy. Children’s Obesity Fund partners with other organizations to educate and support parents, educators and others so that we can all work together to raise healthy, active, social, and happy children. While the organization does not accept donations, it does encourage direct contributions of money and talents to the associations featured on our website. Children’s Obesity Fund is on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.

The J. Smith Young YMCA (http://www.lexingtonymca.com) is dedicated to eliminating racism, promoting peace justice, freedom and dignity. Throughout its 90 year history, J. Smith Young YMCA has provided programs and services to enrich and enhance the lives of men, women, children and families in the local community. Youth services offered at J. Smith Young YMCA include after school care, and summer camps. Nationally, the YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) serves more than two million men, women, children, and their families at more than 1,300 sites throughout the U.S.

Girls on the Run International (http://www.girlsontherun.org) is a 501(c)3 organization that currently serves more than 130,000 girls in 200+ cities across North American every year. Recently, the organization has been featured in many media stories within People, Runner’s World, Glamour, Self, and O Magazine and on news programs such as NBC News, CNN, ABC News, NPR and ESPN. Molly Barker, MSW and four-time Hawaii Ironman triathlete, founded Girls on the Run in 1996.

Southwest Elementary School (https://sites.google.com/a/lexcs.org/southwest-elementary-school/home) serves 342 students in the first through fifth grades. The school’s 55 teachers and staff are focused on addressing individual talents and needs of each child in order to develop effective problem-solving and communication skills that will enable them to contribute academically, socially, and environmentally within the global community.

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