Girls on the Run Bay Area (GOTRBA) was featured on the Family Radio Public Affairs program. Executive director Catherine Muriel discussed the impact of the program with Carmen Shanks.
“We have a program that inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident,” said Muriel. “Every girl, no matter her activity level, her ethnicity, her race, her economic status, benefits from our program.”
Muriel builds on this statement by talking about the funding available to make this accessibility possible. “Over 70% of our participants receive scholarship funding, and if they don't have a good... pair of running shoes, we also provide them a new pair.”
GOTRBA is simply unlike any other after school activity. “There's no program that integrates both the unique combination of the evidence based curriculum and the physical activity” said Muriel when describing the unique way Girls on the Run structures their practices to integrate life lessons with engaging exercises.
Muriel then takes us through a typical GOTRBA practice where gratitude is the lesson of the week. “We start off by doing some exercises so they can run off some steam. Then we have this circle time where we teach them about gratitude. And then the curriculum integrates an exercise with that lesson, and they do their goal setting for their laps and start building up to that 5K.”
Gratitude is not the only skill girls learn in our program. Lessons on how to choose a healthy friend, integrate positive self-talk into your life, and activate your star power are all included in the 8-10 week season.
The program culminates in a community impact project where “the team identifies a community need and learns how to address it.” Muriel elaborates on the impacts of this part of the curriculum: “they learn to compromise because each girl puts out what they want to do and so they vote and they have to choose one topic.” Learning how to compromise and being able to give back to their community are two benefits of this end-of-season project – plus, it's fun! Girls can design cards for seniors, write letters to firefighters, or make blankets for animals – tapping into their creative side.
The season finishes with a flourish at the end-of-season 5K, where the girls show off their
fitness skills as they complete a full 5K with their friends, family, and all of the GOTRBA teams.
Registration for this one-of-a-kind program is open now! Use the link to sign up for our spring season: https://www.gotrbayarea.org/programs