Below is the article featured in NNBW:
Spotlight THE NON-PROFIT
COMMITMENT TO COMMUNITY
GIRLS ON THE RUN SIERRAS
Girls on the Run Sierras is a nonprofit organization serving girls in the Reno- Tahoe area. The mission of this organization is to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident using a fun, experience based curriculum that creatively integrates running. The program equips young girls with the skills and confidence they need to navigate challenging social standards and decision-making.
GOTR Sierras serves girls in Reno, Sparks, Sun Valley, Incline Village, Truckee, Kings Beach, Tahoe City and South Lake Tahoe. Of the twenty-eight schools GOTR partners with, 36% are Title 1 schools (Title I schools are schools with large concentrations of low-income students. These schools receive supplemental Federal funds designed to decrease the academic achievement gap created when students live in poverty). On average, 57% of GOTR participants are on scholarships.
There are two programs offered through GOTR Sierras. Both programs are based on character building and creating healthy life skills, while sprinkling in physical activity in anticipation of the celebratory 5K that occurs at the end of a season. There is a physical aspect to each practice, however GOTR Sierras is much more than a running program. Each lesson has a matching physical activity, and these together create a balance between mental and physical health. Trained coaches take the girls through the season while focusing on the 5 c’s: care, connection, character, competence, and confidence. The life skills girls acquire through GOTR promote physical, emotional, and social health.
The GOTR program is geared towards girls in third through fifth grade since at this age, girls are subject to peer pressure, unrealistic standards among other societal pressures. Since these are such formative years, it is important to equip girls with social and emotional skills so that they face issues and develop healthy habits. Girls are taught the importance of critical thinking, making healthy choices, and how to facilitate positive group interactions. An emphasis is placed on such skills as girls will use these throughout girlhood, adolescence and into adulthood.
The Heart and Sole program are designed for girls in sixth through eighth grade. The lessons are like that of GOTR, but themes are tailored to tackle the challenge of adolescence. Like GOTR, all girls, regardless of physical capability or financial status are welcome. Heart and Sole focuses on the connection between the heart, brain, spirit, body, and social development. Girls will learn lessons regarding problem-solving, emotional regulation and self-care.
Our 10-week program meets after school, twice a week. The curriculum is meant to facilitate positive physical, emotional, and social development. Introductory lessons focus core values, individual strengths, and personal goals all while staying physically active. Following lessons focus on strengthening teamwork, leadership, and decision making skills. The last lessons are taught through a wider lens, focusing on community, cultural messages, as well as exploring an individual’s ability make an impact through our community service project. Lessons are crafted to build on one another,
so by the end of season girls have used the skills they have acquired in the context of individuality, collaboration, and community.
This year was an incredibly special for GOTR Sierras as we hosted our first ever Camp GOTR. We partnered with FIRST Nevada Robotics to offer a week-long day camp. In the morning girls learned about friendships, confidence, and creativity with GOTR coaches and in the afternoon, they built robots and completed a mission to Mars with FIRST Nevada coaches.
GOTR Sierras believes all girls, regardless of financial status or athletic ability, should have the opportunity to participate in the program. While all girls benefit from GOTR-S programming, those with fewer opportunities to participate in physical activity and enrichment programs can benefit the most. As such, we are committed to never turning away a girl due to her family’s financial situation and offer financial assistance to qualifying families.
The season culminates with a celebratory 5K. The 5K is untimed and non-competitive, rather it is a place where girls can celebrate their accomplishments and finish a goal they set at the beginning of the season. When crossing the finish line, girls realize that all their hard work has paid off and that they are able to complete feats that seem impossible.
As a local nonprofit, Girls on the Run Sierras is proud to have served over 5,000 girls in the last 15 years. We rely on the support, donations, and love of our community to help us continue serving girls.