Record numbers participate in Girls On The Run® at SCS

When the call went out for girls in grades 3-5 to register for the spring season of Girls on the Run® Vermont, the goal was to have 15 participants – enough interest to support the return of the program to Shelburne Community School (SCS). Within three weeks, it was clear there was definitely going to be a returning season as registrations streamed in for 42 girls – a record number for Shelburne, one of 188 site locations across the state.

Established in 1999, Girls on the Run® Vermont, is a non-profit organization with the mission to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experienced-based curriculum, which creatively integrates running. Since 2005 the program has been offered to SCS girls grades 3-5, thanks, in large part, to long-time volunteer coach, Tawnya Pell. Pell’s own girls have participated in the program, but when she took a year off for the birth of her fourth child, the Shelburne program took a hiatus.
Over the winter months new volunteer coaches Kristy Knott (UVM senior and student teacher at SCS) and Sybil Keefe (SCS parent), learned about the program and completed a full day training offered by Girls on the Run® Vermont. But as registration numbers continued to climb for the spring season, a call for more volunteers went out to parents, past participants, and others. Help arrived by way of SCS parents: Carolyn Siccama, Lea Parson, Sarah Turner, and Denise Regan; student teacher, Lauren Goracy; CVU students, Caroline Jones and Olivia Matthews; and SCS middle school volunteer, Izzy Schmitt.
Girls meet twice weekly with volunteer coaches to discuss empowering lessons in good food choices, the importance of regular exercise, positive self-image development, and take part in fun running activities. The workouts provide girls the opportunity to challenge themselves in an encouraging environment that advocates both physical and emotional fitness. In the coming weeks the girls will also be working on a community service component including a food drive for the Shelburne Food Shelf and a scholarship fund drive to ensure that any girl who wants to participate in the program can regardless of families resources.
The girls are also training to run in the Girls on the Run® Annual Northern Vermont 5K Run/Walk, which will take place Saturday, June 9 at 10 am at the Champlain Valley Expo in Essex Junction. The girls’ families and friends, as well as the community at large, are all invited to take part—in 2011, that meant close to 4,000 runners/walkers and supporters! All proceeds from the event benefit Girls on the Run® Vermont, allowing the organization to provide scholarships to girls statewide who might not otherwise be able to participate. For more information on volunteering or registering for the 5k visit www.girlsontherunvermont.org, call (802) 246-1476, or email lauren@girlsontherunvermont.org.

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