The article is part of our series of blog posts featuring each of the individuals and/or organizations selected for the National AfterSchool Association’s Most Influential in Health and Wellness for afterschool. The Walking Classroom proudly sponsored the competition because of our strong belief in the value of afterschool programs and the importance of promoting healthier lifestyles for all kids.
Our next honoree is:
Girls on the Run
Charlotte, N.C. | girlsontherun.org
Girls on the Run® is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams.
Meeting twice a week in small teams, we teach life skills through dynamic, interactive lessons and running games. The curriculum is taught by certified Girls on the Run coaches and includes three parts: understanding ourselves, valuing relationships and teamwork and understanding how we connect with and shape the world at large.
Running is used to inspire and motivate girls, encourage lifelong health and fitness, and build confidence through accomplishment. Important social, psychological, and physical skills and abilities are developed and reinforced throughout the program. At each season’s conclusion, the girls and their running buddies complete a 5k running event which gives them a tangible sense of achievement as well as a framework for setting and achieving life goals. The result—making the seemingly impossible, possible, and teaching girls that they can.
Selections were made by NAA based on strong advocacy for and support of health and wellness in afterschool. Those selected represent individuals and organizations whose service, action, and leadership align with and support the NAA Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) Standards and affect large numbers of youth, families, or afterschool professionals.