The event was the culmination of the 10-week Girls on the Run, a twice a week after-school program for third through eighth grade girls that uses the power of running to help prepare girls for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living. “It’s designed to empower them with greater self-awareness, a sense of achievement, and the foundation to become strong, contented, and self-confident young women who can make healthy choices about their behaviors,” explains Amy ’06, assistant director of the program. Girls on the Run is a new addition to the college’s well-known KidSpirit program. Each practice has a different lesson — healthy body image, self-esteem, nutrition, teamwork, community service, being thankful.
“I learned how to be a good friend and how to make choices like not drinking or smoking,” says Sabrina. “It was really fun getting to know girls from different schools… we became friends.” An added benefit for Sabrina was the physical training that improved her stamina on the soccer field. She is one of 105 local third to eighth graders who have participated in Girls on the Run since it began in March.
Girls on the Run International was designed by Molly Barker, a mother of two who coined the phrase “Girl Box” — that space where even confident girls start thinking they don’t measure up and begin to value their outward appearance more than their character. This often causes low self-esteem and a distorted body image that can lead to eating disorders, substance abuse, and teen pregnancy. Girls in the program use this expression to remind their friends to “Get out of the Girl Box!”