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5th grade girls at Cherokee Elementary in Guntersville during SmartStart program
Gracie Likos of TherapyPlus leads Guntersville 5th grade in a good workout during the SmartStart program.

Wed, Dec 5, 2018 at 07:00 PM

5th grade girls get a workout along with a valuable lesson in puberty

SmartStart program provides girls with valuable health information at a critical time of growing up.

Fifth grade girls got a strenuous workout and learned why they need to exercise during a Marshall Medical sponsored program at Cherokee Elementary in Guntersville

“You need good bones and a lot of muscle to help you grow,” Gracie Likos, exercise physiologist and wellness assistant at TherapyPlus, told students. “That’s super important for you right now.”

Likos led the 62 girls through jumping jacks, lunges, push-ups, sit-ups and planks during the exercise portion of the SmartStart program that teaches youngsters about growing up. Students were served breakfast before their workout then sat through a session on puberty taught by a nurse. Julie Waldrep, RN at Marshall North, walked girls through the development of their bodies as they mature.

Dori Giles, counselor at Cherokee, called the program invaluable for students. 

“Having professionals go over the basics with our students in a matter-of-fact, judgement-free space starts the conversation that we hope will continue at home,” she said. “Marshall Medical provides the girls with, among other goodies, The Girls' Body Book, which parents can use as a tool when the inevitable questions arise. Equipping girls with accurate knowledge about their bodies and the changes to come is vital in educating the whole child. We absolutely could not do this without the partnership of Marshall Medical and the SmartStart/HealthyHer program.”

Programs are available at no cost to any school in Marshall County. For more information call 256-571-8018, or 256-753-8018 in the Arab area. For details on Marshall Medical's HealthyHer program visit the page here