Girls on the Run, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, has launched in Nassau County.
The Girls on the Run curriculum integrates running with lessons in self-respect, social awareness and healthy living. Girls on the Run is a program for girls in grades three through five and Girls on Track is designed for those in sixth through eighth grade. Both programs aim to build confidence, self respect, joyfulness and endurance.
Led by specially-trained volunteer coaches, team practices address age appropriate social and physical issues. Practice consists of group lessons, running games and workouts. The group lessons may include subjects such as body image, self-respect, bullying and gossiping. Moreover, each team chooses and carries out a community service project. At the end of the 10-week program, participants run a 5k (3.1 mile) race to show that they are able to achieve their goals.
Girls on the Run of Nassau County has been a work in progress. Girls on the Run of Nassau County Executive Director Elizabeth Murphy said she first heard about the program from a cousin in South Carolina and her daughters have had a positive experience after participating for several seasons. Murphy, a Long Beach resident, said she noticed in her girls greater self-confidence, improved physical fitness and pride in their accomplishments. She said they were learning to identify their own values, getting comfortable expressing their ideas and feeling better about their strong bodies.
"As a runner who had her own struggles with body image over the years, this something I knew I wanted for my nine-year old daughter," Murphy explained. "When I learned the program was not available in Nassau County because a council had not yet been established, I knew it was time to get to work.”
It took Murphy and her team more than a year to raise enough money to start Girls on the Run of Nassau County.
Girls on the Run is an internationally recognized organization. It has been featured on CNN, NBC, ESPN, Real Simple, and I-Village Live. Publications including Redbook, Southern Living, Shape Magazine, O, People, Better Homes & Gardens, Runner’s World have all covered Girls on the Run.
To volunteer, donate or bring the Girls on the Run program to your community, visit their website at www.gotrnassau.org or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The contact phone number is 516-852-0301.
I believe in the mission of Girls on the Run and I am excited that it has arrived here. Our girls greatly need it. I give many thanks to Murphy and to the team of
dedicated volunteers for bringing it to Nassau County. It is up to us to start up teams in our communities and change the lives of girls one run at a time.
- What do you think about Girls on the Run? Do you know anyone who has had any
experiences with the organization? Write me and tell me your thoughts.