Guest post: Girls on the Run

Hi everyone,

As you read this, I am at the Healthy Living Summit cocktail party, then hopefully being disciplined enough to get home and to bed to rest for a full day of Summit fun! My guest post tonight is from Val, formerly of Marathon Val, and now of the new website Chicago Marathon Val. Val is running the Chicago Marathon this year for an amazing cause, and she shares lots of great juicing, running, and veggie cooking ideas on her site, plus it is newly designed and looks great! You have to love a site that offers fun, interesting posts and a blogger that does a lot of good in the world, so check it out!  Reading her post has already inspired me to contact my local chapter of Girls on the Run, and I am hoping to get involved soon.

 

Hi everyone!  I love TravelEatLove’s blog for many reasons – from her delicious recipes (and drool-worthy photos of her meals!) to hearing about her exciting travels.  It’s an honor to be able to do a guest post for her readers!

I know that Meghan loves to run and has a few marathons under her belt, but instead of talking about my own marathon experience, I thought I would go in a different direction.

I wanted to talk to you about a fabulous organization, Girls on the Run!  I know many of you are runners and I would love to get you on board with this fabulous organization!

As a school social worker in some pretty rough schools in Chicago’s inner-city, I’ve found this program to be literally life-changing. 

Girls on the Run is basically the organization that I wish I had come up with first!!  Although I’ve known about this program for a few years, this past year I was lucky enough to coach my first Girls on the Run team.

Here’s some info about this great organization:
• Mission Statement:  “To educate and prepare girls for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living.”
• Offered to girls from ages 8-12 years old
• The group of girls meets twice a week for 12 weeks for an hour after school
• “Coaches” are often school staff members, but they can be anyone!  Anyone is invited to start a program at their local elementary school, and there is more info on their website at http://www.gotrchicago.org/home.html.  Currently there are program is almost all 50 states, but they are always willing to work with people who want to start up their own chapter.  They also have job opportunities!
• The main goal of GOTR is to train the girls to run a 5K at the end of the 12-week period.  This is accomplished by gradually having the girls work up their mileage over the course of program.
• What I think is so cool about GOTR is that the lesson plans have other important messages interspersed between the running.  We talk about topics such as nutrition, self-esteem, friendships, drug and alcohol use, establishing personal values, goals, peer pressure, and more!

After being personally involved with this program, I have seen the positive effects that it has on the girls!  It takes a very minimal time commitment and is FREE for the coaches and the girls – in fact, the Chicago GOTR is awesome and evens provides us with grocery store gift cards to buy healthy snacks for the girls, free trips to WNBA games, and sometimes even purchases running shoes for the girls since many of them don’t have proper running clothes or shoes.

I highly encourage you to look into this fabulous organization.  If you have any questions, visit their website at http://www.gotrchicago.org/home.html, or contact me if you want to know more about being a coach.

Happy running! :)

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