Girls on the Run (GOTR) of Central Indiana serves girls in 3rd through 8th grade across Central Indiana. Currently, we offer sites in Boone, Clinton, Hamilton, Hendricks, Hancock, and Tippecanoe Counties. Our mission is to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. Last spring, I was a coach for 17 girls who were in 3rd-5th grade at College Wood Elementary school. My role is to serve as a role model and mentor for the girls who are participants in the GOTR program. The 20-lesson Girls on the Run curriculum combines training for a 5K (3.1 miles) running event with lessons that inspire girls to become independent thinkers, enhance their problem solving skills and make healthy decisions. The 5k running event happens twice a year (fall and spring) and is open to the public. As a certified GOTR coach, I teach the lessons into three parts: understanding ourselves, valuing relationships and teamwork and understanding how we connect with and shape the world at large. I am excited to volunteer as a coach for this life-changing, non-profit program and for future involvement. I know as a coach I acquired so much from these girls and I am looking forward to continuing my volunteer work for this non-profit organization.
Girls on the Run is to inspire
Encouragement and confidence is a require.
Coaching to achieve the life goal
Through you can gain control.
The mind can wonder but stay on track.
Just know that we have your back.
The first couple of weeks, we tend to learn
Respect, listen, and taking our turn.
Plugging in our GOTR cords
Positive attitude is what we’re looking towards.
It starts with yourself, but I am here
To guide you to understand what not to fear.
Next steps we take is counting on our team
To look out for each other and build our self-esteem.
Seeing the lessons of bullying and gossiping come into place
We teach the girls to handle the problem with grace.
Stop, Breathe, Listen, and Respond.
With any disruptions in our lives, we can all correspond.
Thinking positively takes time and training
Writing letters to ourselves and others helps us feel amazing.
We all are unique and gifted
Let’s show the world how to be lifted.
There is so much love and kindness that can be exposed
It starts with us to be transposed.
Our GOTR team got closer with a spontaneous hunt
The coaches came up with a picture list upfront.
Running around to capture the best of our time
To finish the list with a smile was not a huge climb.
Each girl has something to hold onto throughout these weeks
Hoping they can incorporate the fun, teamwork techniques.
Importance of giving back is something we stimulate
Gathering t-shirts, ribbons, and markers to accumulate.
All on their own, the girls came up with a design
To make handmade dog collars for its’ neckline.
Braids to bandanas to colorful beads … quite a variety
I dropped them off at a local humane society.
The day has come, let’s put on our shoes
Saturday morning to spark the fuse.
We made it to our goal to finish this race
As a coach, I remind them to run a consistent pace.
Knowing that they will be all just fine
Happy to see every girl crossing the line.
By: Jaclyn Altstadt