On a sunny afternoon at Curtis Elementary School last week, the school’s Girls on the Run group presented a check for $1,010 to a representative of Children’s Hospital of Richmond.
Girls on the Run is a national program that works to promote self-esteem and healthy behavior in girls ages 8-13, according to information from the county. The Chesterfield County Health Department, Chesterfield County Public Schools and the Coalition for Active Children (COACH) partnered to sponsor the program in seven county schools, including two elementary schools and five middle schools. At the middle schools, the program is known as Girls on Track.
The Curtis group, made up of 18 girls in fourth and fifth grades, recently held a school-wide fundraiser to bring in money for the Children’s Hospital. For each dollar the girls raised, they will run a lap, teacher and coach Jennifer Swartz said. The laps they plan to run equate to about 118 miles, she said.
Stephanie Allan, special events coordinator for Children’s Hospital of Richmond, was on hand to accept the check last week. Allan said the fundraiser was part of the hospital’s Wishing Well project, which its website calls a “community service project for students of all ages.” To date, the Wishing Well project has raised over $110,000 with help from 45 different schools and organizations, the site says.
“Children helping children is awesome,” she said. “We have lots of schools that just keep coming back.” The whole project will raise about $15,000 this year, “and all the kids seem to really enjoy it, too,” Allan said.
The Girls on the Run program is in its second full year at Curtis, Swartz said. Each session begins with warm-ups and stretching, Swartz said, and each session covers a lesson.
“Our goal is just to keep moving,” she said. The girls “did great” at a recent practice for a coming 5k for all of the county’s students in the program, she said.