Friday, March 27, 2009

Girls on the Run

In my continued quest to visit all of the programs listed in the Tutor/Mentor Connection Program Locator, I'm especially interested in those programs that come up with unique ways to fulfill the task of tutoring and/or mentoring a child. I was quite impressed with 826 CHI's novel use (pun not intended) of encouraging kids to express themselves through writing as a compliment to their tutoring. I was also quite impressed with Girls on the Run, which is a program where girls in 3rd-8th grade have the opportunity to train for a 5k and learn about various life lessons such as cultivating a healthy body image, and staying true to yourself.

Girls on the Run was founded in 1996 in North Carolina and has since expanded to other cities. Girls on the Run has sites in Cook, Lake, DuPage, Kane, Will, and Kendall counties and runs the gamut of all income brackets. All of the programs are run through the school sites and many of the volunteers are parents, teachers, or administrators. The groups meet once a week and in addition to training for the 5k, they have a weekly theme that touches on important life lessons. The program runs for 12 weeks and culminates in a 5k. There are two programs, one in the fall and one in the spring and girls can participate as many times as they want.

The next Girls on the Run 5k will be Saturday June 6th at Montrose Harbor. Men and women are both welcome to run with the girls and their mentors. Girls on the Run is also having a fundraiser, an Associate Board Bags Tournament, at Joe's Bar on Weed St. on Thursday April 16th. Check out the Girls on the Run website to find out more.

And thanks to Charlotte Schultz for meeting with me yesterday morning and explaining to me all the great things that Girls on the Run does to help girl grow both athletically and emotionally.

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