I have participated as a Coach this year at my primary school for Girls On The Run. We have a group of 3rd grade girls that are so enthusiastic about staying active through running and learning more about themselves and their peers. We meet twice a week as a group to participate in lessons on becoming more self aware and running activities. Not only have I experienced the impact that it has on the girls, but everyday I have been learning valuable lessons about myself as well, and making valuable connections with these girls. What we do: At Girls on the Run we inspire girls to recognize their inner strength and celebrate what makes them one of a kind. Trained coaches lead small teams through our research-based curricula which includes dynamic discussions, activities and running games. Over the course of the ten-week program, girls in 3rd-8th grade develop essential skills to help them navigate their worlds and establish a lifetime appreciation for health and fitness. The program culminates with girls positively impacting their communities through a service project and being physically and emotionally prepared to complete a celebratory 5K event. Why it matters: Girls face social pressures and conflicting messages about how they should act and who they should be. Studies show that by adolescence, girls' confidence drops about twice as much as boys'. Friendships become more complicated and challenging, girls' perception of their academic ability declines, the likelihood of anxiety and depression increases and participation in physical activity plummets. It doesn't have to be this way. We believe that EVERY GIRL is inherently FULL OF POWER and POTENTIAL. By knowing they are the leaders of their lives, these are the girls who WILL CHANGE THE WORLD. What girls learn... Confidence: Lessons are designed to build girls' self-worth and help them feel greater confidence in who they are. Activities help girls recognize their personal strengths and teach them how to stand up for themselves and others. Character: By gaining awareness of the power they possess to make intentional decisions, girls learn to choose positive actions which demonstrate respect and responsibility towards themselves and others. Care: Throughout each season, girls learn to respond to others and themselves with care and compassion. Lessons and activities further develop their abilities to sympathize and empathize both within and beyond their social groups. Connections: Girls on the Run lessons focus on cooperative skills and team building through a positive group setting. Girls learn firsthand how to create positive connections with parents and caregivers, teachers, peers and their communities. Competence: Our program provides skill-building experiences to nurture girls' physical, social and emotional competencies that they apply in other areas of their lives such as home, school, and in the neighborhood. Completing a 5K at the end of the season gives them a tangible opportunity to apply all that they have learned. Contribution: When girls develop and strengthen these life skills, they can thrive. More importantly, they can then develop a final skill: CONTRIBUTION. Girls on the Run inspires girls to build lives of purpose and to make a meaningful contribution to community and society. This comes to life through a key element of the curricula when each team creates and executes a community service project. Girls on the Run is our program for girls in 3rd-5th grade that encourages girls to recognize their individual strengths and celebrate connections with others. Each season, girls gain a better understanding of who they are and what's important to them, the value of teamwork and healthy relationships and how they can have a positive impact on the world. Girls also make a meaningful contribution to their community through a team-organized Community Impact Project. Physical activity is woven into the program to inspire an appreciation for fitness and healthy habits and teach life skills including treating others with care, practicing gratitude and managing emotions. Each season culminates with a Girls on the Run 5K event. This celebratory, non-competitive event provides girls with a sense of accomplishment and instills the value of goal setting at a young age. This fundraiser allows GOTR to maintain their commitment to offer GOTR to EVERY girl, regardless of a family’s ability to pay for their programming. Thank you in advance for your willingness to spread the word and help raise these valuable funds! All donations are tax-deductible and will be allocated directly to their low-income program support initiative.