NEW YORK — As girls chart their course from childhood to adulthood, the Jewish Community Center Association (JCC) is helping them to lead a healthy lifestyle through the GoGirlGo curriculum.

By using sports and physical activity as an educational intervention and social asset, the program strives to reduce girls' risk of obesity, osteoperosis, breast cancer, depression, stress, anxiety and lack of self esteem. The educational curriculum for girls in third to eighth grade teaches them about the importance of physical activity and the danger of smoking, drinking alcohol and poor eating habits.

Sid Jacobson Jewish Community Center in East Hills, NY, which offers classes from teen belly dancing to tween hip hop, charges $200 for non-members and $150 for JCC members for 10 one-hour Junior GoGirlGo sessions. During the course of the program, the eight- to 12-year-old girls use weight machines to tone and shape their muscles, learn about proper nutrition and find out how to lose weight safely. To provide personalized attention to the participants, the JCC limits the classes to three students per session.