Run for the Right Reasons
Girls on the Run gets kids moving & growing
by Tori Johnson
Girls on the Run of the Chippewa Valley has been positively impacting young girls and women through exercise and community since 2006. Between February and May, girls in third through eighth grades practice twice a week, running and focusing on social and emotional development. Being a member of GOTR doesn’t necessary mean that you have a passion for running, or are even capable of running long distances.
There are no races or competitions, but rather a platform that promotes self-improvement, encouragement of teammates, and empowerment of girls. The season is capped off with a 5K run at Carson Park, followed by a celebration of all that was accomplished throughout the 10-week program. Council Director Ellie Siedow states with pride that they have never turned a girl away for being unable to pay the season fees and offer financial assistance to anyone in need. The GOTR Chippewa Valley website, gotrchippewavalley.org, provides a deep look into the work they do, and the significant impact this program has on girls.
The outcome of an independent study, ”Girls on the Run: A Longitudinal Study of Program Impact,” completed at the University of Minnesota, found that 85% of girls improved in confidence, competence, caring, character, or connection to others after being involved in GOTR. Across the Valley there are currently 23 participating sites, and last year the organization had 431 members! While the program is open to middle school students, because there are more opportunities for sixth, seventh, and eighth graders to engage in after-school activities, fewer girls in these grades participate in the program.
Girls on the Run is currently seeking volunteer coaches for the 2020 season, and is open for enrollment.