Girls on the Run athletic program set for Ash Grove School District

Girls on the Run, a youth development program for girls in third through sixth grade, will meet at Ash Grove Elementary School beginning Feb. 25 and continuing through May 9.
The program will help develop the physical, emotional and social well-being of the girls who take part in it, said Trish McAdams, director of the Girls on the Run of Southwest Missouri Council.
“They are going to meet in small teams of eight to 15 girls with two
 volunteer coaches who are going to lead them through a very intentional curriculum that is designed to teach girls life skills that help them become healthy emotionally, socially and physically,” she said.
During the course of the program, Girls on the Run teams will meet at Ash Grove Elementary School twice a week after school. The program will run for 10 weeks, and each meeting will last 90 minutes. It is open to all girls in the third through sixth grade, regardless of where they go to school.
McAdams said the meetings will focus on three areas of the girls’ development, the first two focusing on teaching the girls how to take care of themselves and how to build positive relationships with others.
“The first key area that the curriculum focuses on is self-awareness, so the first third of the curriculum is about self-care for the girl, strategies that will help her as an individual,” she said. “Then the middle third of the curriculum is about healthy relationships. There’s a lot of team building, cooperative learning. The lessons are things like how you choose your friends, and conflict resolution.”
The final part of the curriculum will focus on helping the girls become active in their communities.
“The last third is about community involvement,” McAdams said, “and each
one of our teams will take a small community impact project, what we basically call community service, and that’s giving them the opportunity to learn the importance of being an active member in that community, and ‘how can I, as a 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th-grade girl use my strengths to create a positive change in my world, which is my community?’”
McAdams said the meetings would be very physical, with the girls taking part in activities designed to get them up and moving. Part of the program’s goal is to prepare each of the girls to run a 5K.
“We don’t just sit and talk about stuff and then go run,” McAdams said. “The message is distributed to them through games and activities. So, they’re processing these skills through games and activities that involve movement and running.”
While the activities are designed to get the girls up and moving, they’re also designed to be fun so the girls will want to do
“We get them to exercise, but in a sneaky way,” McAdams said. “They might be doing some kind of laps around the track, but they’re playing a game while they’re doing it.”
Participation in the program is not free. The full cost to take part in Girls on the Run is $150 for the 10 weeks, but there are scholarships available for girls whose families cannot afford to pay that much. Also, McAdams said lunch status is used to determine what the girls’ families can afford. For example, girls who are on free lunch only pay $10.
Community support is vital to the program’s success, and McAdams said volunteers are needed to act as coaches. Financial donations to help fund scholarships for girls who cannot pay the program fee are also being accepted.  
For more information about Girls on the Run, or to register or volunteer, go online to


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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