north attleboro middle school

North Attleboro Middle School. (Staff file photo by Mark Stockwell)

NORTH ATTLEBORO — The Hockomock YMCA and North Attleboro Middle School are running an after-school program called Gal Pals and Girl Talk thanks to a grant from Tufts Health Plan.

The YMCA was one of five organizations throughout the state to receive a $5,000 grant from the health insurer.

Dawn Dacosta, teen and community outreach director at the Y, said the program her organization created is allowing 18 middle school girls to enroll in after school workshops that teach leadership and self-esteem skills.

The girls learn CPR, first aid and babysitting, as well as lessons in diversity, nutrition, hygiene, exercise and how to prepare for high school, she said.

The courses are free.

“It’s a great experience for the girls, the Y and the middle school,” Dacosta said.

Tufts created Business Resource Groups to engage in community projects and issue grants.

“The Tufts Health Plan BRGs were established to create opportunities for education, mentoring and leadership, to support diverse communities through volunteering, and to foster a culture of respect and inclusion,” Tufts Health Plan President and CEO Tom Croswell said.

“These grants are the result of a new collaboration between the Foundation and the BRGs that grew out of our desire to strengthen community connections,” he said.

Jim Hand may be reached at 508-236-0399 or jhand@thesunchronicle.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @TSCpolitics.

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