Nearly 8 years ago, I became a runner. I was looking for a 5K. Through my sister I learned about an amazing organization called Girls on the Run (GOTR). My mom knew once I experienced this joyful 5K I would want a team at my school. With her help, we started a new site. Together we recruited coaches and girls. We had so much interest we created two teams! The following year, after seeing the program in action, more girls and coaches wanted to participate. Involvement has grown every year since. Last year, at my site, we organized 4 teams with 12 coaches and over 60 girls.
It is amazing to see the growth of GOTR in the Michiana area. In 2010, there were 12 girls and this year, there will be over 1,200! This is a result of the influence the program has on all who are involved. Once committed, it is easy to talk about its value and encourage more people to take action.
This season, over 350 volunteer coaches will be trained to lead a team two days a week for 10 weeks. They will spend countless hours preparing lessons and making sure all of the girls have everything they need to be successful. As role models for young girls, they will make an impression that will last a lifetime. At the end of the season, these coaches and their teams, will attend the 5K event, where they will join another 250 volunteers.
Girls on the Run reaches girls at a critical age, strengthening their confidence and emphasizing the connection between physical and emotional health. This program empowers girls. They learn to celebrate who they are and appreciate the uniqueness of others. They embrace their independence and become more confident as the season progresses. They truly become all that embodies Girl Power. Once a girl becomes a part of GOTR, it is not uncommon to see a little sister or cousin follow in her footsteps. Families see the significance of the program and are delighted to get involved.
Girls on the Run is more than creating joyful, confident, and healthy young girls and training them to run. The girls at each site work together to come up with a way to positively impact the community through a culminating project. This project enables the girls to acquire life skills and knowledge, as well as give back to the community that makes this program possible.
Without fundraising and donations this program would not be possible. GOTR is expanding at a rapid rate and we need all the help we can get to make sure every girl has the opportunity to experience this and not be turned away for an inability to pay. Almost 80% of the girls in the program can not pay the full amount of GOTR, which means over 900 girls in the Michiana area are in need of your help. Please consider donating to this amazing program.
Your gift to Girls on the Run Greater Hartford will support curriculum enrichment and development, coach and volunteer training and materials, and outreach to underserved communities.
Meeting twice a week in small teams, we teach life skills through dynamic, interactive lessons and running games. The curriculum is taught by certified Girls on the Run coaches and includes three parts: understanding ourselves, valuing relationships and teamwork and understanding how we connect with and shape the world at large.
Running is used to inspire and motivate girls, encourage lifelong health and fitness, and build confidence through accomplishment. Important social, psychological, and physical skills and abilities are developed and reinforced throughout the program. At each season's conclusion, the girls and their running buddies complete a 5k running event which gives them a tangible sense of achievement as well as a framework for setting and achieving life goals. The result—making the seemingly impossible, possible, and teaching girls that they can.