APS: More than pink

Published 5:49 pm Friday, February 3, 2023

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By Teri Wermager and Sarah Wermager

Austin Community Education brought the More Than Pink program to Austin in 2016. The program has supported and educated over 400 young women. This summer we will have over 100 girls participate in the 2023 MTP program. MTP is staffed by Austin Public Schools teachers, mental health practitioners, and paraprofessionals that have been carefully selected and trained to represent what an emotionally and physically healthy adult female role model should be. The focus of our staff is to be a positive role model building supportive relationships with our students enrolled.

More Than Pink is a program designed for girls who have completed third through sixth grade to empower themselves and each other. This six-week summer program innovatively weaves training for a 5K run with lessons that empower girls to celebrate their bodies, honor their voices and embrace their gifts. All athletic types are welcome. A More Than Pink day consists of 60 minutes of physical activity, a Topic Talk lesson and group time. Topics include self-worth, body image, nutrition, puberty, peer pressure and more. Strong female role models from our community lead our Topic Talks.

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More Than Pink Goals:

• To help girls grow and develop mentally, physically, and socially with community support.

• To empower girls to be true to themselves.

• To gain healthy fitness habits that will have life-long benefits.

One of the most important missions of the program is to keep the costs to participants as low as possible. We also provide scholarships to all families that qualify. As a program, we would not be able to do this without community support. Whether it is monetary donations, supplies, or volunteers, this support from our community members is vital. The Parenting Resource Center provides the services of Danielle Nesvold using her expertise for the physical activity component of MTP.

Volunteers make the program run. There are many ways in which you can volunteer. The only criteria are that you are female. Volunteer positions include being a Topic Talk speaker, running with the girls, eating lunch with the girls to provide mentorship, and helping at the 5K Fun Run.

More Thank Pink has an upcoming fundraising event the Love You A-Choco-Lot Gala Ball scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 11 at the Hormel Historic Home. Tickets are available for sale now! You can call our Community Education office at 507-460-1706 for more information and to purchase tickets. Or look at our Austin Community Education Facebook page for details.

Registration for the 2023 More Than Pink program will open April 11. The cost of the summer program is $85 per student, scholarships available for all that qualify. More Than Pink is for all girls, regardless of physical ability, who have completed third grade through completed sixth grade. The program typically fills with a waitlist within a couple days after registration opens.

If you would like more information about the More Than Pink program you can contact Sarah Wermager Hernandez at sarah.wermager@austin.k12.mn.us or Teri Wermager at teri.wermager@austin.k12.mn.us.