Besides working to keep themselves in shape, the Kelley School Girls on the Run Club in Newark is giving back to the community.
Club members recently donated care packages to first responders in Newark from the police department, fire department, Newark-Arcadia Volunteer Ambulance and Newark-Wayne Community Hospital.
The boxes included water, Gatorade, granola bars, chips, gum, candy, pens, Post-its and notebooks. GOTR members decorated water labels to personally thank first responders. Their families, coaches and Reliant Community Credit Union, a club sponsors, donated supplies.
Ashley Stoughton, one of the club’s coaches, said giving back is part of the GOTR curriculum.
“The purpose of the program is to help the girls recognize their inner strengths learning about star power, self-talk and appreciating ourselves for who we are,” Stoughton said. “The curriculum focuses on many components to help build skills around relationships, including emotions and how we express them, empathy, friendships and choosing friends, how to stand up for others and resolve conflicts with others. Part of the program is to give back to the community with a community service project of our choice. This year, we decided we wanted to give back to our local emergency responders, as we felt they deserve to be recognized for always going the extra mile.”
“Newark Police Department is very grateful for the goodies provided by the Girls on the Run,” Chief David Christler said. “Their community spirit and enthusiasm is a great thing to see. Kudos for Kelley School.”
NAVA Chief Todd Blanchard also thanked GOTR for its kindness.
“We really appreciate this,’’ he said. “They put a lot of effort into making the care packages. They put some really neat stuff in the boxes and some nice little sayings on the bags.”
There are 26 girls on the GOTR team this season: third-graders Kendall Muckey, Genevieve Pankewytch and Ainsley Vandermark; fourth-graders Gabby Baker, Corrigan Carpenter-Bump, Maggie Lynch, Cali Murray, Leonarda Olivera-Plain, Gionni Satterlee, Abby Schommer, Sadie Stoffel, Jade Stoner, Emma Titus, Ania Williams and Stephanie Wilson; and fifth-graders Nataleigh Buck, Kendall Carr, Gretchen Crawford, Janae Downing, Dayana Heidrick, Madison Horton, Alissa Mosquera, Jayda Solomon, Emma Thayer and Averi Verbridge.
Stoughton’s daughter, Kiley, a kindergartener at Perkins School, is an active member of the team.
Joining Stoughton in coaching GOTR are Libby Brozik, vocal music teacher; Kollyn Carr, third-grade teacher; Kerri Levine, assistant principal; Kayleigh White, art teacher; and Lisa Zalacca, fifth-grade teacher.
GOTR practices from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays. The program’s season ends with a celebratory 5K run with area GOTR teams. This year’s run was at Monroe Community College.