For the fourth consecutive year, students at Sawgrass Bay Elementary are participating in “Girls on the Run,” a life-changing, experiential learning program for girls age 8 to 13 years old, and the group recently completed a 5K run.
On Dec. 1, Sawgrass Bay Elementary’s Girls on the Run participated in the OUC 5K held at Lake Eola. Sawgrass Bay Principal Dr. Julio Valle, Jennifer Ardizone, Derek Greene, Michelle Work, Vrenlly Cruz, Imali Kent, Christina Lees, Dolores Compean, Litty Symphorien, and Allison Love all were running buddies. The program is led by Coach Jennifer Basta and Assistant Coaches Shelly Lindner and Cheri Block.
“I am so proud of the girls for completing the Fall 2012 Season of Girls on the Run with the final event, the OUC 5K,” said Coach Basta. “I’ve really seen the girls grow confident and proud over the past 12 weeks. It is so gratifying to hear the positive differences in the girls from their parents and teachers. And while many of the girls found the idea of running a 5K daunting, the smiles on their faces after they crossed the finish line were priceless.”
“I am proud that we have these types of programs for our students and for having dedicated teachers to lead our students to success,” said Dr. Julio Valle, Jr.
Girls on the Run programs combine training for a 3.1-mile running event with self-esteem enhancing, uplifting workouts. The goals of the programs are to encourage positive emotional, social, mental, spiritual and physical development.
The objective of Girls on the Run is to educate and empower girls at an early age in order to prevent the display of at-risk activities in the future. At-risk activities include substance and alcohol use, eating disorders, early onset of sexual activity, sedentary lifestyle, depression, suicide attempts and confrontations with the juvenile justice system.
The following are Sawgrass Bay Elementary students participating in the 2012-2013 Girls on the Run:
Leandra Caballero, Nina Cruz, Nadia Ferhat, Gabriella Guerrero, Rylee Hinson, Madyson Hinson, Ryanne LaPierre, Juliana LaPierre, Mackenzie Markussen, Natsumi Mercado, Satsuki Mercado, Miah Penaloza, Kailyn Smith, Rachel Starck, Sanai Thomas.