“I saw the impact it has on students, so I wanted to bring it here,” Brent Walker, a music teacher and organizer of the Girls on the Run at the elementary school, said.
Walker said the program trains third grade to fifth grade girls for 10 weeks so they can run a 5K or 3.15 miles.
“We see the growth, we see the confidence. Then, we see them finish a 5K, something most adults never do in their lives,” Walker said.
This coming fall will be the third season for the school. In the first season, they were able to have 16 girls participate, then in the second season, they were able to have 19 girls and this coming season they are able to host 24.
“All our girls are so different and I think that’s what makes it so beautiful,” Rachel Toews, one of the team coaches and a second grade teacher, said.
The cost to join the team is $195 per girl. The national non-profit organization, Girls on the Run, covers nearly half of that cost making it $95 for each student. But Walker said that cost can still be a lot for the families in their community. So, they’ve started a fundraiser to cover another half making it now only $50 a student.
“We are proud of them. It just shows they can do anything they put their minds to,” Walker said.
Not only do the girls train twice a week by running, but they also talk about life lessons or character traits in a classroom before hitting the track. Toews said the girls then practice the lesson throughout the run.
“I think some skills are developed in the classroom while others are better developed on the field,” Toews said.
Toews said during practice there is no set mileage required, they just challenge the girls to beat their previous selves.
“It’s not about the distance, it’s about how they leave practice,” Toews said.
If you’d like to donate to help get more girls on the team you can on their GoFundMe.
If you’d like more information on how to sign your kiddo up, click here.