'Girls On The Run' Coming To EG
Girls in grades 3 through 8 can join the 10-week program that culminates in taking part in a 5K run.
A running program for girls to promote physical, emotional, and spiritual well being is starting up in East Greenwich and looking for girls and a few good coaches to help out.
The program was started in North Carolina by a woman named Molly Barker, who wanted to encourage girls to feel good about themselves despite the many negative and unrealistic messages our culture puts out.
She formed her first "Girls on the Run" group – just 13 girls – in 1996, and the concept blossomed and has moved from state to state. It started in Rhode Island a year ago and this fall five schools (involving a total of 73 girls) were offering the after-school program: Moses Brown, Lincoln, Gordon, Bay View, and Vartan Gregorian School.
Kathleen Crain, the executive director for Girls on the Run in Rhode Island, said she's excited to get the program into public schools.
"I really want to see this program everywhere," she said. "We hope to expand into public schools and into communities that might not have after-school programs."
East Greenwich got the nod because several parents had already heard about the program and pushed to have it offered here.
The program lasts for 10 weeks, with no more than 15 girls per group. They meet twice a week and, in addition to the physical conditioning, they talk about peer pressure, bullying, and being girls.
"We think there are a lot of issues that are very specific to girls," said Crain. The program culminates in the girls taking part in an official 5K race.
"We really stressed that it wasn’t a competitive run, that it was a celebration," Crain said about runs she's already been involved with. "It’s an opportunity to be silly and fun."
There are two different age groups: girls in grades 3 through 5 are "Girls on the Run," and girls in grades six through eight are "Girls on Track."
It costs $150 to take part in the program, but Crain said no girl would be turned away because of need.
The program in East Greenwich is to begin this spring, but both girls and coaches are needed. The coaches volunteer their time and do not have to have coaching experience.
If you are interested or just want to know more, contact Kathleen Crain at firstname.lastname@example.org or 401-787-3678. To learn more about the program, click here to reach the Rhode Island website.