“Girls on the Run” on Track at Learning Center!

Learning Center! Charter school girls are getting strong and fit. They are learning about ways to be healthy–both emotionally and physically– and how to work together. In its second year, “Girls on the Run,” a curriculum-based, character-development program at the school offers physical fitness through running and track. Serving girls in the 3rd through 8th grades in Western North Carolina, “Girls on the Run” is one of many unique offerings at The Learning Center! Charter School. The program, offered to 14 counties, combines training for a 5K running event with healthy living education.

Cheryl Catuto, teacher and site liaison for the school, coordinated two teams: “Girls on the Run” for grades 3rd through 5th and “Girls on Track” for grades 6th through 8th.  Each group met twice a week to have lesson-based character education, self-esteem and health education.

The program provides a healthy snack at each lesson, and a physical activity to help prepare them for the 5K at the end of the session. “Girls on the Run” session culminates with a celebratory 5K run on Saturday, May 17th at UNC-Asheville. Cheryl Catuto, teacher and site liaison for the school, coordinated two teams: “Girls on the Run” for grades 3rd through 5th and “Girls on Track” for grades 6th through 8th.

“Girls on the Run” is coached by Chris Crayton, Mary Morris, Debby Intemann and Learning Center alumni, Mary Booze.  For Girls on Track, the coaches are Jay Evans, Shelley Dockery, and Mary Morris.

The girls also have to come up with a community service project at the end of the lessons as well. The “Girls on the Run” team chose to clear and maintain the school’s nature trail and the “Girls on Track” team chose to build a new planter for the willow tree on the school’s playground and create benches. Said Catuto, “The character-development aspect of this program has been especially rewarding for these girls.”

For more about other unique programs at the school visit www.naturallygrownkids.org, or the blog at tlcgrowzone.org/blog/.


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