Friday, November 27, 2009

Girls on the Run

Is so much fun!

Girls on the Run is a fantastic local, national and international program that trains young girls to run (run/walk) a 5K race, and teaches them valuable life lessons at the same time.

I have been involved with GOTR Puget Sound for several years, both as a coach and as a running buddy. As a coach you meet with the girls twice a week for three months and provide education, support and fun while following the GOTR curriculum. As a running buddy you meet twice - once for a "Practice 5K" and then for the actual race! You are paired up with one girl and your job is to motivate and support her during her run.

In Seattle, this sessions 5K race is the Fall New Balance Girls on the Run 5K on Saturday, December 12th. Although it's too late to be a running buddy or coach for this season, you can still get involved by volunteering at the race or participating in it! It has a superhero theme! Registration and more info can be found here. I hope to see you there.

Keep reading for more info on the program...

To educate and prepare girls for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living.

Girls on the Run is a curriculum based, experiential learning program that utilizes the power of running to provide 3rd-5th grade girls the tools to:
  • Celebrate their bodies,
  • Honor their voices,
  • Recognize their gifts and,
  • Activate their power!

Our Approach
Our program is offered twice a year, during the spring and fall, at various locations throughout the Puget Sound region. Each program session is 10 weeks long and consists of 20 lessons. Program sites meet twice a week for 1½ hours in the afternoon. Each session is led by a team of trained female volunteer coaches that guide and mentor the girls through the fun and uplifting curriculum. Along the way, the girls train together to walk or run the non-competitive New Balance Girls on the Run 5k (3.1 mile) event which takes place at the end of the program session. Completing the 5k event give the girls a chance to shine and an overwhelming sense of accomplishment!

Curriculum Structure
Our volunteer coaches facilitate a well researched and copyrighted curriculum. The curriculum is divided into three parts to encompass the following concepts:
  • Part One: All About Me…Getting to Know Who I am and What I Stand For!
  • Part Two: Building My Team…Understanding the Importance of Cooperation
  • Part Three: Community Begins with Me…Learning about Community and Designing Our Own Community Project

Each lesson focuses on a specific topic and follows a five part format that provides consistency and structure for the girls’ experience.
  1. Getting on Board: The lesson begins with an activity and brief group discussion that brings the girls’ focus onto the day’s topic.
  2. Warm Up: A short interactive running game that incorporates the lesson topic for that day followed by a stretching and group discussion.
  3. Workout: A running activity related to the topic of the day. Workouts grow longer over the course of the program as the girls build stamina.
  4. Cool Down: A stretching period and group discussion.
  5. Positive Words: Coaches recognize positive individual and group behaviors.
Sample Lesson
We have provided a sample lesson so that you can get a feel for the structure of the lessons. Please click here to view the lesson.

The objective of Girls on the Run is to reduce the potential display of at-risk activities among its participants. The goal is fewer adolescent pregnancies and eating disorders, less depression and suicide attempts, as well as fewer substance/alcohol abuse problems and confrontations with the juvenile justice system.

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