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Deborah "Deb" Aseltine of Wilton, Maine founded Fit Girls of Wilton Maine in 2012 as a passion project to support young girls in the community to build self-confidence through running, reading, and community service. The program is run out of Academy Hill School (AHS) in Wilton, Maine. At the time, the RSU 9 school district secured a Carol White PEP Grant to fund additional physical activity and nutrition programs in the schools. Fit Girls worked alongside the District Health Coordinator and the Healthy Community Coalition of Franklin County to ensure funding to support the program as well. The very first fall season included 12 girls at AHS. With much leg work on behalf on Deb and Ron Aseltine, in 2014, Fit Girls of Wilton Maine became a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. 


Over the years Fit Girls created partnerships with local businesses, recreation departments, and libraries. To this day Fit Girls collaborates with the Healthy Community Coalition of Franklin County and offers the 5-2-1-0 program to families and their children. Fit Girls now serves all of Franklin County. At various points in time, Fit Girls has offered programming at each elementary in RSU 9, sponsored free summer camps, pivoted to pandemic survival kits, and maintained its fall, Fit and Fun 5K fundraiser. Fit Girls currently serves 50 girls each fall and spring at Academy Hill School in Wilton and Cascade Brook School in Farmington. All 4th and 5th grade girls in Franklin County are invited to participate at either location, including homeschool and New Sharon students. Fit Girls is an accessible organization that adapts to all ability/chronic health related needs. 

As Wilton remains a rural, underserved area, the Fit Girls nonprofit continues its focus of support and development for those students and their families. Fit Girls of Wilton Maine has long been supported by Tyngtown Club and Wilton Lions Club, whose donations directly aid the Wilton Fit Girls experience.


Fit Girls is entirely volunteer based. The nonprofit could not run without its head coaches and teachers, in particular longtime supporters, Tina Davis, Nancy Ellis, and Stephanie French. Aseltine served as Executive Director 2012-2022, at which point Karli Erickson, RN BSN BA, a local school nurse substitute, came on board as part of the nonprofit's sustainability plan.

Mission: To promote healthy bodies, healthy minds, and healthy hearts through running, reading, and caring. 



1. Outdoor access for all.

2. Holistic health and wellness education and mentoring.

3. Respect and kindness for ourselves, each other, and the environment. 

4. Increasing fruit and vegetable intake while encouraging connection to gardening and farming.

5. Giving back to our outdoor spaces and serving the natural world surrounding our schools. 

Vision: Girls feel empowered to be themselves, make healthful choices for their bodies in relationship with nature, and connect the message of taking care of themselves, each other, and the earth. 

​What does this look like?

Fit Girls is a 6 week after school program in the fall and spring. All 4th and 5th grade girls in Franklin County are invited to participate. We meet as a group once a week at Academy Hill School and Cascade Brook, two local elementary schools. We embrace the message "fruits and vegetables on half the plate" and start each practice with a healthy snack (e.g. carrots and hummus, bell pepper and cheese sticks, vegetable wraps).


Over the course of the 6 week the group trains for a 5K outside along fields and through the woods. We celebrate all bodies, speeds, and efforts. A positive attitude and willingness to participate is the only requirement. Every person has the opportunity for growth. We work together to grow in our own strength, fruit and vegetable intake, and support for one another and the world we live in. A quality book is also given to each participant and its various wholesome messages are integrated into each session.

Running and walking are easy, inexpensive forms of exercise that strengthen a variety of muscles and the cardiovascular system.  Running and walking also promote better physical and mental health. We start trying to run for 20 minutes and build as our season continues. We may do drills, relays, tag-games, strides, and other fitness exercises (jumping jacks, burpees, star jumps, squat jumps) to help build our leg strength and cardiovascular stamina. We work towards our goal of completing a 5K at the end of each season.

​Reading helps us to learn, reflect, and exposes us to new ideas.  A wonderful book can inspire, motivate and comfort. During each session, we will discuss an aspect of the book. Throughout the program, the girls participate in activities surrounding our book choice.  By introducing girls to meaningful books with positive messages and engaging stories, Fit Girls of Wilton Maine helps girls gain a deeper appreciation for themselves and their communities.

Caring. This is multifactorial. We care about our food choices, encouraging fruits, vegetables, and plants grown from the garden. We care about how our nourishment and movement affect our overall health and wellbeing. We care about ourselves, each other, and the world around us. We make supportive posters for race day, design and spread kindness rocks, and complete a seasonal community service project. As funding allows, in the fall we we plant flower bulbs such as daffodils, crocuses, and tulips. We are inspired by Miss Rumphius, the book by Barbara Cooney, to make the world a more beautiful place. In the spring we will plant perennials and spread pollinator friendly wild-flower seeds. We also perform outdoor service work tending to gardens, trails, and paths as needed by our schools.


Outside every time |  Running/Walking through grass,fields,woods  |  Lively and Engaging Warm-up Activities  |  Yoga and Stretching Exercises  |  Fun Games  |  Non-Competitive Running & Walking Workouts  |  Recording Progress in Training and Reading Logs  |  Opportunity to Engage in Community Service  |  Reading a quality book  |  The value & reward of setting goals, working toward them, and achieving them; where the finish line is just the beginning!


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