Regina Elementary was proud to host its first “Girls on the Run” program in September 2010. Regina enrolled 27 girls and six volunteer coaches who worked with the girls twice a week after school for 10 weeks. The girls were rewarded for their hard work by participating in a 5K run/walk, which was held on Nov. 13.
“Girls on the Run” is a non-profit self-esteem character program that was established in 1996. It is an international program that was developed by Molly Barker, a four-time Hawaii Ironman triathlete. She combined her counseling and teaching background to design this self-worth image program that would help girls ages 8-12 physically and mentally.
The “Girls on the Run” mission is “to educate and prepare girls for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living.” The program uses the power of running to help girls in third through sixth grade develop self-respect and value a healthy lifestyle. The curriculum addresses the development of the “whole” girl – her physical, emotional, mental, social and spiritual well-being.
Every “Girls on the Run” session begins with a check-in to see how the girls are feeling and to introduce the topic of the lesson. After the lesson, there is a warm-up, a game and stretching to ensure they are prepared for the workout. The workout involves running, which leads to a 5K run/walk at the end of the program. The topic of the day is included throughout the workout and the cool down. The girls are provided a healthy snack.
An important aspect of “Girls on the Run” is service to community. After several weeks in the program, the girls decide on their service project. The Regina Elementary girls decided to write letters of encouragement to servicemen and women. The students also donated their Halloween candy and collected 37 pounds of candy to send along with their letters.
The girls enjoyed the program, as did their coaches. Many of the girls are looking forward to the start of the spring “Girls on the Run” in February. All six coaches are returning as well.
Regina Elementary is thankful to the parents who brought this idea to the school and for all who work to support managing the program. It is so wonderful to see parents, teachers and children getting involved in supporting a healthy lifestyle, especially when all schools are looking at what they do for the school’s overall wellness.