Girls on the Run of Southeast Alaska will hold their final 5K Fun Run Saturday, Dec. 5 at the Dimond Park Field House to celebrate what organizers called "a successful fall Girls on the Run season."
This fall 60 girls from four local elementary schools enrolled in GOTR and attended 24 sessions over the past 12 weeks. During these sessions each trained to run 5 kilometers while learning to value self-respect, hard work, a positive attitude and teamwork.
Laughter, cheering and camaraderie are highlights of every session and are also essential building blocks for the peer and coach support system inherent to the program.
On a typical afternoon 10 to 15 girls gather to energize and have a "circle-discussion." They then complete a warm-up activity that introduces the day's topics. After running laps and completing fun mental or physical challenges, each session ends with a stretching circle where girls can reflect on the session before doing a final group "Energy Award Cheer."
GOTR currently includes six villages and communities in Southeast Alaska, and four sites in Juneau, including Mendenhall River Community School, Auke Bay Elementary School, Gastineau Elementary School and Harborview Elementary School. One of AWARE's goals is for the program to encompass all six local elementary schools. Riverbend and Glacier Valley Elementary School communities have expressed interest in becoming official sites for GOTR. Organizers say this could become a reality "with increased volunteer support, making it possible for young women throughout the school district to benefit from an opportunity to learn, grow and run with their peers from Juneau and beyond."
The national program, dedicated to teaching third- through fifth-grade girls how to maintain a healthy lifestyle and uphold strong values. Girls on the Run promotes self-respect, communication and a positive body image. AWARE Inc., Aiding Women in Abuse and Rape Emergencies, is the affiliate council in Juneau and Southeast Alaska for the program. They initiated the program in Southeast Alaska two years ago.
For more information or to volunteer, call AWARE at 586-6623 or contact Ati Nasiah at firstname.lastname@example.org or Swarupa Toth at email@example.com.