Saturday, January 29, 2011

Girls on the Run

I first read about Girls on the Run (GOTR) on Caitlin's blog.  I clicked the link to the organization's site and read more about it and thought it sounded really cool.  The timing didn't work then to volunteer so I bookmarked the page to come back.  After reading more about Caitlin's experience and how passionate she was about the organization I finally decided I really wanted to volunteer with them, so I made time in my schedule so that I could.  I put in a background check and application and attended a GOTR information session at the council here in Orlando.  The director, Lori, was super friendly and said she would find a spot for me at a local school!  

For those that don't know "Girls on the Run is a non-profit prevention program that encourages preteen girls to develop self-respect and healthy lifestyles through running.  Our curricula addresses all aspects of girls' development - their physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual well-being." (GOTRI website)  The program is for elementary and middle school girls and ends with a group 5K.  

Today I went to a Coach Training session to learn more details about the program and sign some paperwork.  I am going to be an assistant coach at an elementary school so I will be at one (of the two) practices every week.  While there I got to meet some of the other coaches in the Orlando area.  We watched a video in which Molly Barker, the founder of GOTR, shared her story and why she started the organization.  We then went over how the program works, what is involved, and how the lessons are organized.  Lori, the director, was nice enough to get us a delicious lunch from Jason's Deli.  I enjoyed a chef salad and half a chocolate chip cookie.  

During the break I saw my first ever Operation Beautiful note and it was great one so I had to take a picture!  I was going to bring it up to the group when Lori mentioned the project herself.  She learned about it from the GOTR conference that was in Arizona last week, where Caitlin spoke.  I explained that that was how I discovered Girls on the Run.  It kind of all came full circle!  

After studying our materials we headed outside where we got to teach and participate in a lesson.  It was lots of fun!  We got a feel of the topics that are discussed and the entertaining workouts and prizes the girls get each practice.  All of the other coaches there were super nice and friendly.  We all had a great time!  
New bumper sticker for my car!
I seriously cannot wait to meet the girls and start the program!  Everything about this organization -the program, research, lessons, people, activities, values- is amazing and I love that I get the opportunity to be a part of it!  

There are lots of volunteer options for Girls on the Run from a SoleMate to a Coach.  If you are interested you should definitely check out the website and see if your city has a GOTR council!


Kara said...

It's so great that you're doing this! I'd love to be a coach, but it's just not practical with a baby (and no baby sitter). If my backwoods area actually had GOTR, I'd totally help out on race day though :)

Katy (The Singing Runner) said...

Yay!!! I put in an application at my local chapter, but they never got back to me. :( I think my schedule this semester was pretty packed. But I'm going to reapply in the fall! :D

Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun said...

How cool about it all coming full circle like that. :) And even more cool about volunteering with them!

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