February 18, 2019 - Jackson County, Wisconsin
Jackson in Action and the Boys & Girls Club of the Greater Chippewa Valley - Lunda Center will be teaming up again this year to offer the Laces to Leaders program for 3rd-5th grade students in Jackson County. In its third year, this 8-week program focuses on building self-confidence and positive self-image in young girls and boys, within the structure of training for a 5K run.
“Laces to Leaders has been a popular addition to our Boys & Girls Club programming,” said Boys & Girls Club center director Kelly LaBar. “The participants learn about concepts such as goal-setting, teamwork, and being a positive encourager within the classroom setting, and then can immediately apply these skills as they train together for a 5K run.”
The interactive curriculum teaches girls and boys positive life concepts, inspires them to make healthy choices, and empowers them to become young leaders among their peers. Adult role models throughout the community are brought in to allow the youth to interact with leaders from the community. Each session starts in the Boys & Girls Club classroom with fun activities and learning, and is followed by a physical activity session to help the youth prepare for running a 5K.
The grand finale for the program each year is participating in the annual Pace and Pedal 5K Color Fun Run/Walk at Wazee Lake Recreation Area. “The girls and boys experience such a powerful sense of accomplishment as they cross the finish line for the Pace and Pedal 5K Run, with family and friends cheering them on,” said Laces to Leaders coordinator Dawn Jacobson. “Most of the participants have never completed a 5K prior to this. It is empowering as they see firsthand how much they can accomplish by committing to a goal and working hard.”
This year’s Laces to Leaders program will be held March 25-May 18. Sessions are held from 3:30-5:00pm at the Boys & Girls Club-Lunda Center, with the girls meeting on Mondays and Wednesdays, and the boys meeting on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The program is open to youth currently in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade. There is no cost for the program, other than the annual Boys & Girls Club membership fee of $15. Youth do not previously need to be members of the Boys & Girls Club to apply. Application materials can be picked up at the Boys & Girls Club – Lunda Center, or can be downloaded from www.jacksoninaction.org/lacestoleaders. Applications should be turned in to the Boys & Girls Club – Lunda Center, by March 15. For more information, contact Kelly at the Boys & Girls Club 715-284-4005 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jackson in Action – Healthy Eating. Active Living - is a non-profit healthy living organization based in Jackson County, Wisconsin. For more information visit: www.jacksoninaction.org
Photos: Previous Laces to Leaders participants