Article by Katryna Nickels, Queens Grant High School
Girls on the Run is an organization dedicated to helping young girls in grades 3rd to 5th. In 2015 alone they worked with over 185,000 girls, and this all started right here in North Carolina.
The program has over 200 councils and there is one in all 50 states, including the District of Columbia.
Mandie Cipcic, who volunteered with Bain Elementary’s chapter of Girls on the Run in the fall of 2017 gave her thoughts on the program, “I honestly did not know much about Girls on the Run, other than it was a group of 3rd-5th grade girls who get together and… run.” She says,though she quickly learned there was more to it. “There is a curriculum the coaches follow that contains activities and conversations to help lead the girls.”
Girls on the Run is a club that meets in two seasons, a spring and a fall one. Mandie volunteered during Bain Elementary School’s fall season in 2017.
The program is all about teaching girls to find themselves and that their words matter. They learned how to choose friends with HEART, which is an acronym for Helps you, Encourages you, Accepts you, Really listens to you, and Treats you with kindness. To learn these valuable lessons, they met twice a week for around 11 weeks all leading up to the big 5K at Whitehall Corporate Center.“
One of the most memorable lessons we did was the lesson on conflict resolution. They remembered that one the most because they would use these words to resolve conflict.” Mandiere members, talking about how during warm up the girls would share how they used that lesson at home. They learned to use words like, ‘I feel…’ ‘When you…’ ‘Because…’ ‘I would like for you to…’ when working through a conflict.
The girls looked forward to going to the club and for them to learn the key to building self-confidence and worth before entering middle school is huge. “Teaching girls to be inclusive instead of exclusive is huge in my book.” Mandie comments, her own daughter is one of the girls who ran with the team. “This program is special in so many ways. It’s is organized and put together with heart.”
The program at Bain will pick back up again in the spring and will feature many of the same lessons but different girls as the program grows and the 5th graders move on to middle school.
To learn more about Girls on the Run, how to join a program or start one, go over to their website girlsontherun.org.