Thursday, January 31, 2008

Inspire4Life

Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend the inspire4life youth summit at the World Trade Center here in Boston. The event was sponsored by the United Way, and I was AMAZED to see so many people from all walks of life (state reps, corporate leaders, program directors, etc.) committed to serving some of the most vulnerable youth in our community. The inspire4life is a call to action for EVERYONE to get involved and listen, learn and lead. For some of us it might mean writing a check, and for others it means taking the time to share our talents and passion (art, music, athletics, etc) with this new generation and help them grow into healthy, happy and socially responsible adults.

The focus was primarily on "after and out of school time". My goal in attending the conference was to learn more about the programs, specifically physical fitness programs, that best serve the children in the community. While Fit Girls has been a big hit here in Medfield (there are almost 60 girls signed up for the spring session!), I have a great deal to learn about city schools and programs in order to adjust and adapt Fit Girls for this population.

It was incredibly helpful to meet the more experienced girl serving program directors including Anne from CityKicks (soccer), Regan from G-ROW (crew) and Deborah, the founder of LEAP, a powerful self-defense program for girls ages 8-18. Great women with great programs for girls! And great role models for me to learn and grow in the wonderful world of nonprofit youth fitness.

I get excited at these types of events! And my mind swirls with all sorts of ideas and dreams about how to share my passion for running (along with all those physical, emotional and social benefits) with our youth. I also would like to try and tie in the history of the Boston Marathon, at least for those programs in the city. After all, we are the host city to the world's oldest marathon. And DFMC runners can serve as wonderful examples of everyday athletes putting one foot in front of the other to reach their personal goal of participating in one of the world's most prestigious road race events. Not everyone can be an Olympic athlete, but with hard work and commitment, almost anyone can run a marathon.

Another interesting fact: the finish line of the Boston Marathon is at the base of the Boston Public Library - which brings together the running and reading.

Could I possibly coordinate some sort of field trip for the teams of girls (of course NOT on Marathon Monday!)?? Something to think about when "doing the Thursday" 9 mile run tonight.....

3 comments:

Kristina Pinto said...

I used to teach grad student researchers studying G-ROW--it's a fantastic program that the girls LOVE! As is yours! Also look into GO Fit, another great program based in Springfield, I think.

sarah said...

Kristina

Yes, I know about GO Fit too. So many cool programs out there! Because of your background in dancing you might be interested in checking out the Hyde Square Task Force Ritmo Teen Dance troupe. These kids performed for us at the summit and it was INCREDIBLE! I'll email you the link to one of their performance videos.

inspire4life said...

Sarah,
I'm so glad to hear about your experience at inspire4life. I work at United Way and was also there. Was most impressed with Karen Pittman's speech and with the youth presentations. We started a forum on the inspire4life website. If you're interested I think it'd be great if we could link to your blog and have your posts contribute to the forum. Let us know if you'd be interested in setting something like that up. A mother of three and a marathon runner, you'll certainly have something to add! email me at inspired@inspire4life.org if you want to talk further. Thanks for the post!
-- Sarah