Michelle Scollins January 04, 2021
Kicking off the FRÉ X Girls on the Run® partnership!
We are so excited about this partnership! Our missions are aligned to empower both girls and women through the work that we do. The Girls on the Run® program inspires girls to build lives of purpose and to make a meaningful contribution to community and society. This comes to life through a key element of the curricula when each team creates and executes a community service project, which connects so well with FRE’s mission to help protect the planet. We hope (and know) that together, we can reach and empower the next generation of female leaders!
What FRÉ Ambassadors can learn through volunteering
FRÉ’s Ambassadors are such incredible potential volunteers because they are comfortable in their own skin. The personal stories and experiences they bring to the table as coaches, trainers and athletes are invaluable—they are setting such an amazing example of joyful, healthy and confident women, which is exactly what we want to highlight for our girls. I hope that through volunteering for Girls on the Run® the FRÉ Ambassadors learn not only more about themselves and the impact they can have, but also about how important it is to continue sharing their stories to help inspire those who will follow in their footsteps.
Girls on the Run®
Girls on the Run® is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams.With over 175 local councils throughout the United States, Girls on the Run® provides curricula, training and support needed to successfully implement three programs: Girls on the Run, for girls in 3rd-5th grade; Heart & Sole for girls in 6th-8th grade; and Camp GOTR, a one-week program designed to be delivered during school intercessions for 3rd-5th grade girls.
The lessons are fun and engaging and teach specific skills and strategies such as how to manage emotions, help others, make intentional decisions, and resolve conflicts. The girls can use these skills at home, at school and with friends, and each session is led by trained volunteer coaches that guide and mentor girls. Our mission at Girls on the Run® is to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. Since its inception in 1996, Girls on the Run® has served over 2 million girls (and counting!).
Girls on the Run® mitigates girls’ poor outcomes in physical and mental health through the promotion of healthy behaviors and social-emotional strategies that have been shown to prevent the development of health problems in adulthood. An external longitudinal study of Girls on the Run®, recently published in Pediatric Exercise Science, provides evidence that Girls on the Run® is effective in promoting positive youth development, including season-long and lasting change in competence, confidence, connection, character, caring, physical activity, and life skills such as intentional decision-making and resolving conflict.
Impacting girls at risk
Due to our ongoing commitment to inclusion, diversity, access, and equity, our organization works to ensure that every girl, regardless of income, ability, race, ethnicity, or location, has access to programming and a meaningful and rewarding Girls on the Run® experience. We want to ensure that the race/ethnicity of participants mirrors the communities served. In 2019, 209,454 girls participated in Girls on the Run® programming nationwide and were reflective of the overall diversity of the United States. During this programming year, 14% of girls participating in Girls on the Run® identified as Black / African American; 15% as Hispanic / Latina; 6% as Multi-Racial; 3% as Asian; 1% as American Indian / Alaska Native; 56% as White / Caucasian; 2% as Other; and with 3% declining to state.
Girls on the Run® 5k
There are so many stories highlighting the impact of Girls on the Run® on our participants, but one of my favorite ways to see this in action is to wait at the finish line of our Girls on the Run® 5Ks to see the participants’ faces light up as soon as they cross the finish line. It’s truly inspiring and never gets old—it’s my favorite place to be at a 5K! Many girls think they won’t be able to complete the 5K when they first begin the 10-week program, but the joy in their eyes as they do tells such an amazing story. What else can she accomplish that she initially didn’t think she could? As we like to say at Girls on the Run®, “the finish line is just the beginning.”
Why I chose to get involved with Girls on the Run®
For me, I always want what I’m doing to not feel like “work.” We’ve all heard the saying “love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life,” but this really rings true for me at Girls on the Run®. I’m so lucky to be in my role where I’m able to help create positive change and amazing opportunities for our girls through meaningful partnerships. It is such a privilege to work with different brands and partners to brainstorm ways to help our girls reach their limitless potential.
Volunteering with Girls on the Run®
Each council works tirelessly to inspire, empower and strengthen girls in their community, and the incredible impact of our movement is a reality, because of our passionate volunteers in these communities. There are so many ways to get involved with a local Girls on the Run® council, from leading a team of girls for a season (or two, or three—I promise you’ll be hooked!) to providing support at the 5K through a cheer station or set-up/break down of the actual event. We know our programming positively impacts the girls we serve, but there’s also something to be said about the ways in which it impacts our volunteers.
Our volunteers typically have a healthy and active lifestyle, are community oriented and most importantly, are passionate about empowering girls and creating a safe space for them. Our girls need volunteer coaches now more than ever, too! You do not need to be a runner, you simply need to have a desire to support and encourage girls.
To learn more about available volunteer opportunities, visit www.girlsontherun.org/connectlocally to find your nearest council!
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