Decatur, GA — Decatur ICU nurse Ashley Goldman Howle has begun a community fitness class in her Winnona Park neighborhood to boost morale among her neighbors of all ages during the pandemic.
The class participants are known as “Mimosa Milers,” named after the corner of Mimosa Place and Mimosa Drive where they meet on Fridays. Masks, hand washing, and social distancing are required, and attendance is limited to Ashley’s small neighborhood circle. As the younger children surpass milestones, they earn charms with inspirational quotes on them that help them build their confidence.
It’s a chance for teens and kids to step away from Zoom classes, and for parents to get an hour of free childcare, or safely socialize with their neighbors.
“We might be in different boats, but it’s all the same crazy storm,” Howle said. “In today’s unpredictable state, we are looking for ways to maintain our physical and emotional health, and to do this each week sparks joy and maintains the well-being of my own family. Every kid, big and small, deserves an inclusive place to connect with others in positive, healthy ways. These young children are continuing to develop vital social and emotional skills that are lacking in virtual school right now. We have a fairly tight group here, but I’ve seen several shy children flourish in this setting. My greatest hope is that these kids carry the bonds forward as they grow older and they continue to look out for each other.”
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