It’s all about girl power! Thanks to a state-funded grant called GIFT, that’s the Girls in Fitness Together program, the Dover YMCA is teaching girls from Dover, Caesar Rodney, and Polytech High Schools how to make better choices in all aspects of their lives while incorporating physical fitness. Girls enrolled in GIFT meet twice a week for two hours to hold open discussions, participate in physical activities, and to enjoy a healthy snack. During the course of the program, the girls make new friends, try new activities, and work on interpersonal skills. Completing a community service project is also a part of the program, focusing on building self-confidence while inspiring the girls to make conscious decisions about living a healthy life.
“The girls feel a sense of belonging and enjoy being a part of the YMCA,” says Senior Program Director Sheri Minear. The GIFT program was expanded this summer to allow girls ages 13-17 to participate in multiple weeks of camps offered at the Dover branch. At the camps, the girls were challenged to do many exciting first-time physical activities like rock climbing.
Dedicated staff members, who serve as role models to the girls, help them develop a sense of self-empowerment while also learning the importance of giving back to their communities and becoming leaders. The real gift given to the young ladies in the GIFT program is its overall theme; girls can do anything if they stay focused, stay physically fit and make healthy lifestyle choices while being conscious, good citizens.