HEALTH

Girls On The Run Vermont hires northern Vermont program coordinator

GOTR_logoGirls on the Run Vermont welcomed Rachel Desautels on Oct. 10 as the new Northern Vermont Program Coordinator.

Girls on the Run is an international organization that helps empower girls to develop physical, emotional and social well-being, offering strategies for dealing with life-challenges in healthy, positive ways.  An interactive, experience-based afterschool educational program, Girls on the Run serves girls from third to eighth grade, helping foster a sense of self-esteem, character, collaboration and community involvement through a 12-week, 24-lesson curriculum offered each spring. Focusing on everything from body image, bullying and gossip to peer pressure, the media and compassion for others, the program takes place each spring, is augmented by a local community service project and culminates in wonderfully celebratory 5K run/walks held in Southern, Central and Northern Vermont in May and June.

Rachel Desautels

Rachel Desautels

Desautels moved with her family from New Jersey about four years ago to Williston; a homecoming for her husband, who grew up in Burlington. She brings to her new post over 15 years of experience in building strong professional relationships and team-oriented business procedures as a national television and radio media buyer. A longtime Girls on the Run Vermont coach and supporter, Desautels is thrilled to join the Brattleboro-based GOTRVT. She will be working from her office in Burlington, coordinating GOTRVT program coaches and sites across the northern region of the state, serving Addison, Caledonia, Chittenden, Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille, Orange, Orleans and Washington counties.

Nancy Heydinger, Director of GOTRVT, is delighted to have Desautels aboard. “This is our 15th Anniversary at Girls on the Run Vermont and our staff has grown exponentially over the last 12 months, to meet the growing demand for our program,” said Heydinger. “This year the program expanded by 25 percent, serving more than 2,880 girls at over 140 locations across the state, so we’re excited to have Rachel taking over our very busy northern region. Her enthusiasm is wonderful and, as a Girls on the Run coach, she knows the program inside and out already. The timing is perfect, as it will help us to increase our reach to girls throughout the north and prepare for the Essex 5K which will be held on June 6, 2015.”

The Girls on the Run Vermont program is delivered by over 700 coach team volunteers who are parents, grandparents, school staff and community members seeking to help girls make healthy choices, support each other and honor their uniqueness as they navigate through the middle school years.

For more information visit www.girlsontherunvermont.org.

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Author Lisa Guernsey discusses children’s ‘Screen Time’

Author Lisa Guernsey will discuss how electronic media affects young children and how to responsibly incorporate technology into a child’s life in a free public talk today, Oct. 23, at 7 p.m. at the University of Vermont’s Dudley H. Davis Center.  Her one-hour presentation followed by Q&A is free and open to the public. Ms. Guernsey’s book, “Screen Time: How Electronic Media – From Baby Videos to Educational Software – Affects Your Young Child,” will be available for purchase and signing. The event is sponsored by Vermont Humanities Council and held in collaboration with the annual conference of the Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children (VAEYC).

N1501P14012KGeared for parents, childcare providers, early educators and college students, Guernsey’s talk will focus on issues related to screen time in early childhood, and provide guidelines on incorporating technology into a child’s life.

“We promote early literacy and sharing books with young children – and we recognize that screens are here to stay,” said Jan Steinbauer, VHC’s Director of Literacy Programs. “Lisa Guernsey does a wonderful job of presenting the latest research on this issue in everyday language. She advocates for a common sense approach that takes into account the needs of the individual child. We are thrilled to bring Lisa to Vermont and help shine a light on this important and timely issue.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that television and other media be limited to one to two hours a day for children and avoided entirely for infants and children under age two. Yet screens surround us every day. VHC offers this event to help parents, educators and caregivers learn to navigate the sometimes confusing world of technology.

Guernsey advocates for developing a “booksplus” view of children’s learning environment, in which books remain critically important, especially for early literacy skills, but where children also have chances to learn from and engage with multimedia of all kinds.

She is director of the Early Education Initiative at the New America Foundation, a non-partisan think tank in Washington D.C., which focuses on policies to promote a high-quality continuum of learning for young children from birth to age 8. Learn more at lisaguernsey.com and earlyed.newamerica.net.