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Over the past 10 weeks 15 girls in grades 3-5 at Butteville Elementary School have been training for a 5K while growing in confidence and honing life skills they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

Lessons like “An Attitude of Gratitude,” “Let’s Cooperate,” “Stop and take a BrThRR,” and “Using our Star Power,” culminated in the girls completing the celebratory Girls on the Run 5K this past weekend as well as planning and implementing a Community Impact Project to give back to their community.

Girls on the Run is a new program on Butteville Elementary School’s campus. Volunteer Head Coach Eva Garcia-Mitchell was integral in bringing the program to the area. Girls on the Run is a positive youth empowerment program with a mission to inspire girls to live joyful, healthy and confident lives. The 10-week program uses a research-based curriculum that creatively integrates the power of running to achieve the mission.

The team met two times a week for 75 minutes after school and participated in dynamic discussions and fun running games. “What really stood out about this program is that it offers the girls a “girl group” to learn more about themselves and gain support from their peers in a safe environment,” explained Garcia-Mitchell.

She explained in an email that the BrThRR in “Stop and take a BrThRR” is a way for girls to remember to “stop, breath, think, respond, and review when dealing with life situations such as bullying or gossip.”

The season culminated in the “graduation” GOTR 5K event May 12 that brought together family, friends and community members to celebrate the girls’ growth throughout the season.

Garcia-Mitchell ran the 5K with the team and loved how the girls pushed themselves and enjoyed it at the same time.

“The smiles at the finish line were huge!” said Garcia-Mitchell.

The Community Impact Project is also a key element in the Girls on the Run curriculum. It provides an opportunity for the girls to use the skills they have developed and enhanced over the course of the program. The project also provides an opportunity for the girls to apply effort over time towards a goal.

The design and implementation of the Community Impact Project is completely driven by the team.

Thus, girls feel a sense of ownership and empowerment as they work together towards their goal.

The Butteville Girls on the Run girls had a ton of fun making dog treats for the Siskiyou Humane Society.

They plan to deliver them this week.

More information about the Girls on the Run programs can be found on the Girls on the Run of the north state’s website at gotrnothstate.org.

About Girls on the Run

Girls on the Run is a national physical activity-based positive youth development program for 3rd-8th grade girls. Participants develop and improve competence, feel confidence in who they are, develop strength of character, respond to others and oneself with care, create positive connections with peers and adults and make a meaningful contribution to community and society.

Each session is led by trained volunteer coaches who guide and mentor the girls. The ten-week program concludes with all participants completing a celebratory 5K event which gives them a tangible sense of achievement as well as a framework for setting and achieving life goals.