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Be smart, be strong and be amazing. This program designed especially for girls gives some tools on how to do so.
- By Charlene Arsenault, Northborough Patch -
Erin Mahoney identified a need for young girls to learn to love themselves and feel empowered. Aware that girls are "over exposed in today's society, surrounded by social media sights, and pressures of magazines to look a certain way" she wanted to find a way to teach girls to love themselves, and their bodies, at every stage.
Mahoney created Girl Power, a program designed to get girls excited about being strong, confident, independent and healthy.
"Girl Power is a empowerment program that teaches girls to 'find their power' through positive re-enforcement, self-discovery and teamwork exercises," said Mahoney.
The program is open to girls in first through eighth grade, and the cirriculum varies depending on the age group.
"It is age appropriate, but covers the same important topics," said Mahoney. "How to make good friends, how to deal with peer pressure, healthy eating, fueling for sports and how to discover the power of 'you.'"
Rachel Howe, president of Momentum Fitness, formed a partnership with Mahoney recently. Howe will be teaching the program in other towns as well as expanding the class into communities that have asked for it.
In Northborough, the program is offered to girls in grades 3-5.
"Erin teaches girls to love themselves and their bodies at every stage," said Howe, "and to be open to differences within their circle of friends and beyond. Girl Power is an empowerment program that helps girls find their 'inner athlete' while learning acceptance and kindness."
Girl Power also has a 2-part series specially designed for Girl Scout, Brownie and Daisy troops. In addition, another program called Kid Power is offered for both girls and boys, and it covers the same important life lessons for both boys and girls.
In Northborough, the program is offered at the Southwest Cutoff Recreation Center starting on Sept. 19, and another program that starts on Nov. 7. It will also be offered at the Peaslee Elementary School, Lincoln Street School, Proctor School and the Zeh Elementary School.
"Girl Power is offered in many other school systems and through community class offerings as well," said Howe. "This extracurricular class is currently running in Uxbridge, Northborough, Sutton, Hopkinton and Milford. The program has had tremendous growth and is in the process of expanding to additional communities throughout the state."
The goal, adds Mahoney, is to help girls "be strong, be smart and be amazing."
"We teach girls to come out of their comfort zones and be socially responsible," said Mahoney, "and to do the right thing when no one else does. To make healthy smart decisions with their school work, bodies and personal health. To be kind and thoughtful and to 'Think before they Speak.' Girl Power is a program about helping young girls feel fabulous about themselves as well as create a network of people that support them and help them to feel empowered. Girls are taught how to deal with difficult situations, conflict and how to work through things these issues."
Sign up for the Northborough program on the Northborough Recreation Department's website.
For the Milford locations, parents can sign up through the Milford Community Use Program.
For all other locations or to set up a class near you, contact Mahoney at firstname.lastname@example.org or Howe at email@example.com for more information.