News: Girls run to break the 'mold'
Story by Senior Airman Katrina Brisbin
MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. - A new nationwide program to help develop, maintain and foster confidence of young girls kicks off at McConnell AFB Feb. 26, 2013, at the youth center.
Girls on the Run a is youth development program which combines an interactive curriculum centered around running to help inspire self-respect and healthy lifestyles in preteen girls. The core curriculum addresses several aspects of young girls' development including their physical, emotional, mental and social well-being.
"We inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running," said 1st Lt. Aisha Locket, 22nd Force Support Squadron sustainment flight commander and GOTR site liaison.
The program for 3rd to 5th grade girls includes running workouts and games that teach life skills and prepares participants for a 5K run and walk event.
A three-part curriculum is taught by certified GOTR coaches and includes topics including understanding ourselves, valuing teamwork and understanding how we connect with and shape the world at large.
The first eight lessons are centered on the girls getting to know themselves by examining their values, their likes and dislikes and who they envision themselves to be. The next section concentrates on team building, being supportive and learning to listen and cooperate. The final section relate to the world at large, which includes making a contribution to the local community and learning to recognize and deal with the negative messages often received from the world.
"This program helps young girls break free from that box by building their confidence and recognizing that each girl is a unique and special individual who doesn't have to be like anyone else," said 2nd Lt. Paulina Rudolph, 22nd FSS airman and family services deputy flight commander and GOTR secondary site liaison. "It allows the girls to shatter stereotypes at an early age and develop a strong sense of self and accomplishment through running."
At the end of the ten week, program participants will join the rest of Sedgwick County to participate in a 5K run.
"Girls on the Run is a lot more than a running program," said Molly Barker, GOTR founder. "I believe it will lead to an entire generation of girls living peacefully and happily outside of the girl box."
Registration is open through Feb. 22.
For more information, contact the McConnell Youth Center at (316) 759-4070.
Additional information is available at girlsontherunks.org.