If you know of Girls on the Run, you know it is an excellent program for girls in grades 3-5 and 6-8 in Northeast Ohio. This program encourages girls to enjoy the sport of running while also teaching them to make healthy decisions, build positive relationships and cope with difficult feelings and situations. It is an 8 week program, ran through schools and community programs that emphasizes competence, confidence, connection, character, caring, and contribution in young girls through lessons that incorporate physical activity and goal setting. The girls I’ve known that have participated have loved it and there is usually a waiting list – so sign up now for the Fall!
What Girls on the Run saw more than ever during the pandemic was how Girls on the Run helped the girls with their social and emotional health. Coaches echoed that, “Being able to participate in a team and be a part of a community [was the greatest need met through the program during this time]. So many kids are feeling isolated right now.” I wholeheartedly agree- having kids in sports with other kids was so important this last school year and it will continue the coming year.
Parents and guardians echoed this feeling. “[My daughter has] made new friends, feels better about herself, and seems more positive and cheery. COVID and staying at home was taking an emotional toll on my daughter. I feel that Girls on the Run has helped her find herself again!! She’s making healthier food choices and has more interest in being active.” Some of my daughter’s best friends are new friends she made last year on her sports team.
At the beginning of the 2019/20 school year, the Ohio Department of Education released an outline for a greater focus on social-emotional learning in schools using the Framework for Systemic Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL, 2017).
“For 14 years, Girls on the Run has worked hard to address the developmental needs of girls throughout Northeast Ohio,” said Robyn Cutler, Executive Director. “Although it may be some time before we fully comprehend the lasting impact of the pandemic, it’s imperative we do all we can under the current circumstances to ensure our girls are able to continue making connections in safe spaces while building their confidence, learning critical life lessons and unleashing their limitless potential.”
There are two programs available, one for 3rd-5th grade girls and another for 6th-8th graders, both of which can be brought to any community in the organization’s six Northeast Ohio counties simply by completing an online application. Girls on the Run NEO provides volunteer training, program materials and necessary resources to seamlessly deliver a quality, confidence-building experience.
For more information about bringing Girls on the Run to your community or to sign up as a volunteer coach, please visit gotrNEO.org or call (234) 206-0786.