Sandy Hill Elementary’s Bees girls start running club

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Special to Dorchester Banner/Dave Ryan
Girls at Sandy Hill Elementary School (SHE) now have their own running club, SHE’s Bees. The group was started and is led by teachers Erin Benson, in front at far left, and Karen McGowan, in front at far right.

CAMBRIDGE — It’s never too early to start a life of health and fitness. Karen McGowan and Erin Benson, both teachers at Sandy Hill Elementary School (SHE) and avid runners, know that, and have started SHE’s Bees all-girl running club – the school’s mascot is a bee. Boys at the school already have their own Gentlemens’ Club.

SHE’s Bees meet every Wednesday after school. Twenty-one members, along with adult mentors, begin with stretching, and then head out on a run.

The girls have run as far as .88 of a mile, and are aiming to complete a mile without walking. Ms. McGowan said, “We are trying to promote healthy exercise and eating habits, self-confidence, goal setting, and girl-power,” she added with a smile.

Club members are expected to be accountable for their actions, and to attend meetings and workouts every week.

The two teachers were inspired by the Maple Elementary School Running Club, which operated for several years under former teacher Sarah Rentz, who has since moved away. The group was so successful that several current members of Cambridge-South Dorchester High School’s cross country and track and field teams are alumni of Ms. Rentz’ club.

Plans are being set for SHE’s Bees to visit a practice of C-SD’s cross country team, and to cheer the Vikings at one of their meets this fall.

The girls at Sandy Hill will continue to meet until Nov. 18. “We’ll do a spring session, too,” Ms. McGowan said.

Dave Ryan is editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at dryan@newszap.com.

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