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Girls on the Run gets kids active, ready for new challenges

MINNEAPOLIS — A special after-school program says, “If she can run a mile, she can run the world.”

Girls on the Run Minnesota gets kids active and teaches them crucial life skills.

Before school starts in the fall, the nonprofit organization needs your help.

GOTR prepares 3rd through 8th grade girls for a culminating 5K race, and also equips them with important skills for growing up.

Mary Uran, GOTR’s executive director, says the curriculum includes “managing emotions, power and agency, setting boundaries, things that girls can use as they rise into middle school and high school.”

“If you’re being bullied or anything, it just helps to stop and calm down and helps with your positive self-talk and just able to recognize your emotions,” said Collette Uran, a rising 5th-grader who’s participated in the program four times.

With 2,000 girls enrolled this fall at 150 sites around the state, the volunteer coaches are the lifeblood of the program.

Uran says they’re recruiting more than 500 coaches.

“It’s such an important thing to provide role models that are outside of your own caregivers to girls at this age,” she said.

Any adult can coach, no running expertise needed. All the training and materials for the curriculum are provided but arguably the most important thing volunteers can bring to the table is their own lived experience.

“You’re just bringing your best self,” Uran said.

She adds if running isn’t for your child, cartwheels work just as well. The only pace that needs to be kept is “forward.”

In addition to the 5K race, the girls also complete community service projects as a group.

For more information on the program or volunteering to coach, click here.

Source: CBS Minnesota

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