Girls face social pressures and conflicting messages about how they should act and who they should be. Studies show that by adolescence, girls’ confidence drops about twice as much as boys’. Friendships become more complicated and challenging, girls’ perception of their academic ability declines, the likelihood of anxiety and depression increases and participation in physical activity plummets.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
We believe that EVERY GIRL is inherently FULL OF POWER and POTENTIAL. By knowing they are the leaders of their lives, these are the girls who WILL CHANGE THE WORLD.
—from Girls on the Run West Sound—
Once again I am so happy to be able to support Girls On the Run West Sound.
Girls on the Run
Girls on the Run is not a running club. It is an organization to empower young girls to be confident, caring, competent, compassionate, and cooperative with goal setting and accomplishment through running. This allows volunteer coaches to teach girls an appreciation for health and fitness. In addition, teams each develop and execute a community service project. The lessons taught during their bi-weekly sessions include “understanding ourselves, valuing relationships and teamwork, and understanding how we connect with and shape the world.” These are lessons that stay with the girls throughout their lives. The support they are surrounded with throughout the season and during their celebratory 5K at the end of each ten week season is overwhelming and moving. Families, running buddies, teammates, coaches, volunteers, and directors provide nothing but encouragement and commitment to these girls.
Started by Rachel Bearbower in 2013, Girls on the Run West Sound has fourteen locations in Kitsap, Mason, and Pierce Counties of Washington. Over the past three years, she and her team of volunteers have impacted the lives of over 900 girls! They currently serve girls in grades 3-5 in the Girls on the Run program, girls in grades 6-8 in the Heart and Sole program, and girls in grade 9-12 (and beyond) are able to continue their involvement by volunteering as junior coaches or in other capacities. As they are continuing to grow, they are are always seeking volunteers throughout the area to help in a wide range of areas. Check out their website for more information.
A couple weeks ago I photographed their 4th Annual Dream Big Run-a-thon fundraising event. All funds go back to Girls on the Run West Sound to provide scholarships so no girl will be turned away. As always, the chill in the air did not dampen the positive and jovial spirit of the group. The pre-run activities included donuts, raffle drawings, purchasing Girls on the Run gear, photo booth, and of course music and dancing. The costume contest provided great amusement as Jack Sparrow, a banana, and hula girls ran, walked, and skipped around the track, sometimes stopping at the gummy worm station. The run ended with everyone completing the last lap together, followed by pizza and prizes for the top fundraisers. The efforts of all involved were realized as they greatly surpassed their goal for the year by raising $18,686!!
I am looking forward to seeing everyone in December for their celebratory 5K as the girls finish up their fall season!