Senior receives Bluegrass Alliance for Women Impact Award
March 18, 2010 By Leigh Ivey
chef” Natalie Dickenson '08 at a recent Girls on the Go session.
Rolfe founded the program last fall, and this March, she was
named the Boyle County recipient of the Bluegrass Alliance for
Women Impact Award for her work with the program.
Each week, Centre women help the Girls on the Go participants
prepare healthy snacks before they take part in the physical
activities that are scheduled.
This spring, the soccer team volunteered to teach the girls about
the rules of their game. The lacrosse and track teams have also
led activity sessions this March.
Last fall, Centre senior Laura Rolfe of San Antonio, Texas, launched a program in hopes of inspiring local girls to live healthfully. Little did she know the impact it would have on local elementary-aged girls, Centre students and the surrounding county itself.
The program was Girls on the Go, and this March, Rolfe has received the Boyle County Bluegrass Alliance for Women Impact Award for founding the program.
The award was created by the Bluegrass Alliance for Women to honor and recognize women who have made a strong commitment to improving the lives of women and girls within the Bluegrass Area Development District.
Rolfe, along with the other county-level winners, was recognized at the Legacy Award Luncheon held in Lexington on Tuesday, March 23.
Girls on the Go, which is sponsored by the Boyle County YMCA, is designed for fourth- and fifth-grade girls and consists of weekly healthy living lessons and activities.
Each weekly session is divided into two parts. The first is a nutrition lesson, during which a “nutritionist and chef” teaches the girls about healthy food choices and the nutrients they need every day.
“During the fall Girls on the Go, Centre alumna Natalie Dickenson '08 discussed different aspects of the Food Pyramid in the context of colors,” Rolfe says. For examples, “one week she chose whole grains and incorporated the color yellow into the snacks, which included whole grain wraps and banana-oat smoothies.”
During the nutrition lessons, 10 to 15 Centre volunteers help the girls make healthy dishes, including yogurt parfaits, fruit pizzas and spicy vegetable dips. The volunteers are also on hand to help prepare for the lessons and clean up afterwards.
Once the nutrition lessons are completed, the girls take part in the activity portions of the program. Each week, a different Centre women's athletic team leads the activities, teaching the girls about their sports and the importance of physical activity.
From learning about the value of stretching and the importance of flexibility to team-building activities and relays to volleyball and lacrosse games, the girls stay active and entertained at the same time.
Centre’s female athletes do more than just teach the Girls on the Go participants about sports, though. They also serve as positive role models, something Rolfe knows young women everywhere desperately need.
“The goal was to show these girls that women come in all shapes and sizes,” she says. “Every day, they’re bombarded by the media, whether it’s on TV, movies, magazines or advertisements. We wanted to show them that you can be a healthy, physically active woman without being pencil-thin.”
Having been such a success in the fall, Girls on the Go returned to campus this March and continues to be a hit with local girls and the Centre women who participate. During an upcoming nutrition lesson, an organic farmer will visit with the group to explain the importance of eating locally and organically. Members of the track, soccer and lacrosse teams have already dedicated time to playing games with the Girls on the Go participants, and more athletes will volunteer in the coming weeks.
Rolfe says that “the support I receive from Centre and Danville” has led to the success of the program, adding that “it makes me so proud to be a Centre student and a member of the local community.”