Village School

Girls on the Run at Village!

Parent Volunteer Coaches for Village’s Girls on the Run (GOTR) program reflect on what this program is all about.

What is Girls on the Run?

By Marci, Coach and Village School Parent

Girls on the run is an awesome program that has been part of Village for 7 years now. Over a period of 10 weeks, girls in the 3rd through 5th grade participate in an after-school program like no other. Designed to allow every girl to recognize her inner strength, the Girls on the Run curriculum inspires girls to define their lives on their own terms.Throughout the season, the girls make new friends, build their confidence and celebrate all that makes them unique.

The Girls on the Run lessons encourage positive emotional, social, mental and physical development. The girls explore and discuss their own beliefs around experiences and challenges girls face at this age. They also develop important strategies and skills to help them navigate life experiences.

Physical activity is a great part of the program to inspire an appreciation of fitness and to build habits that lead to a lifetime of health. At the end of the season, the girls participate in a Girls on the Run 5K event.


GOTR Coaching Reflection

By Lisa, Coach and Village School Parent 

As a new kinder parent at Village, trying to adjust to and learn to actually use in real life this new Positive Discipline parenting philosophy, I was struggling to wrangle kindergartners and thinking about how much extra work this new parenting style seemed to be. Granted, this was nine years ago, back before the Positive Discipline at School classes for new families became a thing; back then, parents were pretty much tossed into the classroom frying pan with minimal guidance to duke it out with the kinders. It all seemed so chaotic, and I wondered whether all of the Positive Discipline and other strategies that we were learning to use with our Villagers really worked; there seemed so little evidence of it at times in the lower grades.

But there is a magic that happens at Village as the years progress. It is subtle in the lower grades, but it is percolating in the kids under the surface. The magic starts to emerge, like butterflies emerging from their chrysalides, as the kids move into third grade, and it is in full bloom by 4th and 5th grade. As you work with kids in the classroom, you are witness to this beautiful transformation. But nowhere is this wonderful flowering of our children as a result of the gardens that we as parents have so lovingly tended through the years as evident as it is in Girls on the Run (GOTR). 

GOTR sounds like a running program, but it is really about empowering girls to be self-confident, competent, caring and empathetic, able to connect with people, contribute to community and society, and have strength of character. These are also the life skills that Village teaches, so by the time our girls are old enough to participate in GOTR (3rd grade), they have been bathed in these GOTR-like messages consistently at school for many years. The messages are familiar to them. Being a GOTR coach has shown me that our girls have taken these messages in over the years. As a coach, I have had the privilege of witnessing how emotionally intelligent and thoughtful our daughters have become through our work as a community at Village. I have seen it grow from the mostly-quiet (observing) 3rd grade girls to the talkative (enthusiastic) 4th graders to the “we got this” thoughtful wisdom of the 5th graders. 

GOTR re-enforces what our girls already know in a very personal way. It gives them a unique, girls-only place where they are unconditionally supported to talk without fear and practice their life skills. It affirms for them that they are OK just how they are. GOTR gives the 5th grade girls an opportunity to act as leaders and mentors to the younger girls, and gives the younger girls a chance to learn from the older girls.

My daughter, now a 5th grader, has been a GOTR girl since 2nd grade; this is her last year. I am honored to have been a part of GOTR, and to have had the opportunity to get to know these wonderful girls better, to learn from their wisdom and experiences, and to remember again what it is like to be a young girl growing up.