Inside the GOTR Curriculum Part 3
the Girls on the Run and Girls on Track Curricula are split into three sections; self, team and community. This is the third of a three part series by Sam Rhoades, Office Administrator and long-time coach which outlines different aspects of each section of the program. Read part 1 and part 2!
Celebrating and Sharing Our Strengths
By the last three weeks of practice, our teams have really hit their stride. We have learned so much about how unique and beautiful we are. Every practice represents a teammate trying her best, someone stepping in to help someone else, someone who was encouraging, or someone who was courageous. We take those lessons of difference and cooperation, and we are empowered to use that strength and diversity to positively impact our communities .
We get together for practice and start a conversation about communities. “What is a community?” “What kinds of communities do we belong to?” “What are things that make a community run smoothly?” We play “keep it up” with a beach ball and see how many hits on the ball we can get before it falls to the ground or flies out of bounds. We try to do a group run where we take each step in sync with each other’s. It’s hard! We discover there are things that we need as a community and that we can activate to make our community work better.
As a team, we share community issues that we care deeply about. The list often includes: help for homeless persons, good health for children and babies, a clean environment, a clean school, and puppies and kittens. We work together to come up with something we can do as a team to help these groups and better our community. Once we decide on a group project, we take another practice period to implement the plan. How exciting it is to use our unique strengths to help others! What an amazing feeling to know we have made a difference in our community!
And suddenly, it is our last week of practices. The season has flown by! At one of the very last meetings, each team member takes a moment to sit in the “friendship seat.” We wait in line to approach the girl of honor and to tell her how glad we are to have met her. We use positive words to describe her unique gifts and what we love about her spirit.
Our gratitude for the time we have had together is a powerful force and our joy at having been accepted and appreciated is immense. We will gather together again to share a final snack or potluck meal together at our banquet, and we will rally once more at the starting line of the GOTR 5k. We will cheer each other on and sign each other’s shirts and have our hair spray-painted in wild colors and dance to the fun music at the finish line. We have learned and experienced so much together --what an unforgettable season with Girls on the Run!
For more information about the community service our teams engage in each season, please visit the Community Service page of our website: https://girlsontherunstlouis.org/events-community/community-service-proj...
For more information about our season’s end fantastic GOTR 5k event, please visit the 5k page of our website: https://girlsontherunstlouis.org/run-our-5k