Delta Fit Girls Says No to Obesity for the Young Women of Muskegon
The New Program Will Combine the Powers of Running and Reading.
Muskegon is currently carrying an unsavory distinction – the town has more overweight residents than any other town in Michigan, and the Muskegon Heights Alumnae of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority have decided to do something about it.
Delta Fit Girls is an innovative new program for 4th and 5th grade girls. The project officially kicked off on October 12th at Oakview Elementary. Fifteen girls meet twice a week after school to work out and learn fun, new ways to exercise. They are led by Fit Girls Coach Emily Brown, who says, “I am excited that I get to lead a project that is part of the solution.” During these afterschool sessions, the girls also learn about etiquette and discuss the books they are currently reading.
Delta Fit Girls is utilizing the Fit Girls Fitness Program curriculum, which emphasizes a holistic approach to health: healthy bodies, healthy minds, and healthy hearts. Fit Girls tackles the childhood obesity crisis by combining the powers of running and reading. Girls in the program will exercise, but they will also read books that spotlight strong, healthy, and happy female protagonists.
The six-week program will culminate in a 5k race, the proceeds of which will be donated to the Hackley Library Children’s Christmas Tree Decoration Project – hence, the girls are learning about healthy hearts through the spirit of giving.
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority is a non-profit organization that has worked since 1913 to better families and communities. Delta Sigma Theta also works to promote holistic health of mind, body, and spirit and has a designated Health Task Force, who is charged with educating and facilitating lifestyle changes that improve the wellbeing of women and communities.
Delta Sigma Theta is founded on the principle that there is power in sisterhood and the Delta Fit Girls project will surround Muskegon’s young women with positive female role models. Twenty-six members of the sorority will serve as mentors for different phases of the program. Brenda Hoskins, project coordinator says, “In addition to the medical conditions associated with obesity, some of the social-emotional consequences of obesity include being teased and/or bullied because of your weight. This is most difficult for young girls. These students are more likely to miss school, which affects their academic performance.”
The program has generously been funded by a grant from the Gerber Foundation, which was founded in Fremont, Michigan. The Foundation offers grants for projects that improve the health of local youth. Brenda Hoskins says, “We know this would not have been possible without the grant from The Gerber Foundation.”
Delta Sigma Theta’s Muskegon Heights Alumnae hope that this project is only the beginning, and would love to help implement programs in other area schools. Perhaps the testimony of the current participants will help to spark interest in neighboring schools. One fourth grade athlete says, “I have wanted to run all my life, now I get to run!” Exactly. These girls are off and running, in more ways than one.
For more information, contact Brenda Hoskins, Sorority Health Awareness Chairperson.
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