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What Is Girls on the Run? Christine Benedict Tells Us All About It

From episode: Christine Benedict: Fueling Resilience and Compassion in Young Girls

This week, we are talking with Christine Benedict. She's the executive director of Girls on the Run of South Central Wisconsin. Welcome to the show, Christine. I'm so glad to be here. Thanks for having me, Carla. Absolutely. So let's dig into Girls on the Run. What is Girls on the Run? Yes, Girls on the Run is an after -school empowerment program that helps third through eighth grade girls, although our primary Girls on the Run programming serves girls in grades three through five, and it helps them build confidence, character, compassion, all kinds of life skills. And while they're learning all these fantastic life skills, they're also training, playing, moving their bodies, and getting prepared to run a 5K at the end of their season. So we are a confidence building program that uses running to teach all these great life skills. Oh, wow. That's really incredible. So they're training for a 5K. How long of a season is this? Yeah, it's a great question. So the kids meet on small teams, typically of about 15 to 20 kids with three to five coaches or so, and their season runs about nine weeks, and they can, depending on their school and if their school offers programming in both the fall and spring season, they can do it up to six times between third, fourth, and fifth grade, so they can repeat. But typically the single season is just nine weeks, and the kids meet twice a week after school on those small teams for 90 minutes per practice. And typically at those 90 minute practices, about half of the time is spent doing some of that skill building. So talking about their feelings, their emotions, that life skill building, and the other half is spent moving, not quite in big blocks like that, but it's about 45 minutes of those 90 minutes that they spend trying to be pretty active.

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