I had such an amazing opportunity these past couple months to volunteer with an AMAZING non-profit called Girls on the Run!
Girls on the Run Mission:
“We inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.”
Here’s a little but about the program: This after- school, 10-12 week program is for girls in the 3rd through 5th grade. It is Designed to allow every girl to recognize her inner strength, the Girls on the Run curriculum inspires girls to define their lives on their own terms. Throughout the season, the girls make new friends, build their inner confidence and celebrate all that makes them unique. The Girls on the Run lessons encourage positive emotional, social, mental and physical development. Participants also train for a 5K towards the end of the program, hence the name Girls on the Run.
I found out about this program through my professor of my grant writing course this semester. As soon as I heard the name, GIRLS ON THE RUN, my eyes lit up. Then hearing that it incorporates running and positive body image/self-esteem curriculum, I fell in LOVE. I filled out an application on the website to become a volunteer coach. Within two days I was contacted about becoming an assistant volunteer coach at Franklin Elementary in Kent! My fellow coaches, Julie and Trina, are wonderful and I really enjoy working with them to building our 12 girls’ self-esteem, confidence, etc!!
After 10 weeks, ALL 12 girls finished the 5K at the Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls. HUNDREDS of 8-11 year old girls and their sibling, parents, grandparents, teachers, and friends ran/walked the 5K. I ran with two of the faster girls on the Franklin team, Abbey and Aubrey. They did AWESOME, running a little over 30 minutes! Pretty impressive for such young girls. All of the girls did something quite impressive, something that more than half of the country has not! I was so proud of every single one of them!
I cannot rave about this program enough!! Starting to teach the girls to be proud of themselves and encourage positive body image and self-esteem as young as eight is just WONDERFUL! It truly gives me hope for our future women, our future leaders. Every one of the 12 girls I’ve worked with have truly inspired me to stick with my passion of promoting body acceptance. I plan to volunteer as an assistant coach again in the spring. I can actually see myself working for this amazing non-profit. 🙂