The Issue: Physical Activity for Kids in Need
Approximately 40% of the kids enrolled in Girls on the Run Twin Cities need scholarships for running shoes and apparel. Inasmuch as childhood poverty has been shown to result in a higher likelihood of lifelong health problems, it may be that these girls in need are the ones who could benefit from the program the most.
Among all age groups, regular physical activity can reduce the risk of diabetes, coronary heart disease, and obesity by up to 50%. For young girls, improvements can be even more marked. Developmentally focused fitness programs have been shown to improve self-esteem and body-size satisfaction among 3rd–8th grade girls, on top of the improvements in overall health.
The Campaign: Purchasing Running Gear and Clothing for Girls in Need
All donations to this Grassroots campaign will be used by Girls on the Run Twin Cities to provide running gear for 3rd–5th grade girls participating in the organization’s after-school running program. For every $50 raised, the organization can purchase a new pair of running shoes and running attire for one girl.
Girls on the Run Twin Cities
The end goal of each season at Girls on the Run Twin Cities is a 5K race, but the journey to that destination is filled with milestones. The organization pairs girls in grades 3 through 5 with volunteer coaches, who use distance running as a means of imparting positive values, healthy lifestyles, and respect for self and others. Up to 15 girls train at each site in the spring and fall, meeting their coaches after school for up to 12 weeks. Before the day's workout, participants and coaches discuss a different topic relevant to young women, such as body image, women in the media, and bullying. The topic is then incorporated into the workout, which begins with warm-ups and an activity. Each girl then runs a set distance at her own pace, building up to 3.1 miles by the end of the season.
Girls on the Run Twin Cities admits any girl who wants to participate. The organization relies on donations from individuals and corporate sponsors to purchase running shoes and attire for participants unable to afford the program fee.
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