This semester I became a coach for Girls on the Run. Our school began this running club for girls in the fall of 2011. After hearing the type of activities this group was doing and the inspiring lessons that the young girls were learning, I volunteered my time. So, starting in January I spent my Monday and Friday afternoons coaching fifteen 3-5 grade girls. I am no runner, so this was something very new to me. With the help of three amazing coaches, we had a fantastic semester and sent fourteen of our girls (and their families) through the finish line of the Run Louisiana Girls on the Run 5K on Saturday.
Here’s some info on GOTR:
Girls on the Run inspires girls to stay true themselves and live free from societal stereotypes. How? Combine 3rd – 5th grade girls with inspired mentors for 10 weeks & 20 life-changing lessons – train for and complete a 5k. Powerful impact!We inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.Girls on the Run is a non-profit prevention program that encourages preteen girls to develop self-respect and healthy lifestyles through running. Girls on the Run curricula address all aspects of girls’ development – their physical, emotional, mental, social and spiritual well-being.The programs combine training for a 3.1 mile running event with self-esteem enhancing, uplifting workouts. The goals of the programs are to encourage positive emotional, social, mental, spiritual and physical development.
My favorite part of the program would be the lessons. Being a teacher, this won’t surprise many. Plus, as I said….I’m not a runner! The lessons deal with issues such as positive/negative thoughts, bullying, gossiping, healthy habits, and media imagery. As the GOTR mission states, we help to encourage these girls to develop self-respect and healthy lifestyles.
Following each lesson we train for the 5K that is held at the end of every semester. It is unbelievable just how much these young girls can run! After a long day of school, they still have enough energy to run 1-1.5 miles after school in just a short period of time.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent with past students. I have seen them grow over the course of just 4 months and can’t wait to do it again next semester–hopefully I’ll enjoy running a little more!
Video and Photos
The girls are holding lap counters that have been linked.
Practicing yoga to show control.
Photo from Claim Your Journey Facbook page.
Bandanas the girls wore at the 5K. They had to choose one that spoke to them. Photo from Claim Your Journey Facbook page.
Warming up with Zumba. photo from Claim Your Journey Facbook page.