For Bellaire, running isn't just for gym class

For Bellaire, running isn't just for gym class
Posted on 05/23/2019
Girls on the Run program at Bellaire

For a core group of young women at Bellaire Education Center, running laps isn't just about physical fitness. The Girls on the Run program creates a positive, structured space for middle school girls to learn about themselves, explore new ideas, cultivate empathy, strengthen connections and develop life skills that will help them as they move through adolescence and beyond.

This is the first year Bellaire has offered the 10-week program, thanks to scholarships from the Twin Cities chapter of the organization. All participating students have access to programming, running shoes, athletic clothing and healthy snacks at no cost to them or the school.

After a short lesson indoors, which can include anything from empathy work to understanding the connection between physical and mental health, the students go outside and get in as many laps as they can. 

Teachers report that the participating girls have increased their skills when it comes to working as a team and supporting one another. They are also able to stay more regulated throughout the day if they have a Girls on the Run session in the morning.

In June, the girls will participate in a 5K at the Mall of America with other Girls on the Run teams from across the state. The 5K is not a competition against other teams, but rather a celebration of a year of growth and the progress they have seen over time.