When Oak Meadow fifth-grader Morgan Wright recently moved from Texas to El Dorado Hills she didn’t know anyone. By joining the after school program Girls on the Run this spring, she and 25 other Oak Meadow girls in third through fifth grade have made new friends and gained a whole lot more during the three-month experience.
The mission of Girls on the Run is “to educate and prepare girls in grades three through eight for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living” by creatively integrating running. The 12-week sessions culminate with a 5K run.
Besides the physical work of running two to three times a week after school, part of the Girls on the Run”confidence building includes having the girls collectively choose and then complete a community service project. The Oak Meadow team chose to help The Grace Foundation, earning $875 in one week by holding after school bake sales for the local animal rescue and rehabilitation center.
The runners collected tangible goods for The Grace Foundation, including paper towels, toilet paper, trash bags, laundry detergent, used blankets towels and baby sheets. Their drive ended May 1, but anyone can bring those needed items to the Grace Foundation themselves, the girls said.
Last weekend was the 5K run, which brought together 200 girls from 20 chapters in the greater Sacramento area. Many of the Oak Meadow runners wore pink tutus to commemorate the “girl power” they’ve experienced.
Head coach Araba Pozos would like to see other schools take part when the fall and spring sessions commence next year. “We are the first school in El Dorado County to start a team of Girls on the Run and we’d love to see more,” said Pozos.
Girls on the Run International was founded in 1996 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Sacramento Council was created in 2003 and currently serves more than 400 girls annually. Girls on the Run”of Greater Sacramento is always looking for volunteers, coaches, co-coaches, board and committee members and sponsorships.