When we met our neighbor Amanda Marr in 2017, she told us about Girls on the Run-Washington DC, a nonprofit and afterschool program for girls in grades 3 through 5.
Marr is still a board member and volunteer, and is still promoting girls running for physical and emotional health. She wrote to tell us that the program is enrolling for its spring 2021 program (more on that below).
We also asked her to fill us in on how Girls on the Run-DC pivoted in the pandemic to virtual training and a virtual 5K.
by Amanda Marr
In the early spring of 2021, Girls on the Run-DC – like so many nonprofit, community-based organizations – had to totally reimagine its in-person, school-based programming as the pandemic hit and everyone was forced inside.
Without missing a beat, the organization transitioned to Zoom lessons and workouts for the remainder of the season. With help from extremely dedicated coaches and volunteers, the program operated remotely while still delivering the important content that is the hallmark of Girls on the Run. And the girls trained for and completed a virtual 5k over the space of one week.
Girls chose to participate in one of two ways: site-based 5Ks or “K Your Way.”
For site-based 5Ks, coaches mapped the route and marked the start and finish lines. Each girl ran with a buddy (usually a parent) and celebrated with her teammates at their location. All runners wore masks, and each team had their own special ways they celebrated. Some chalked the course, some had family members make signs to hold up, and many used some kind of ribbon or streamers for every girl to run through as she crossed the finish line of her final lap.
For the “K Your Way,” each girl could do an activity of her choice that she had been working on (dance, run, walk, jump rope, hula hoop, various core exercise combinations, running stairs, whatever they wanted!), and many virtual teams decided to make small videos of what they did and share them at their team’s virtual celebration.
Here is what one participant had to say:
“We’ve been on computers a lot lately, but Girls on the Run is one thing I look forward to most during the week. I’ve met new people, made memories, and learned strategies that I’ll use in everyday life for a long time. The thing from Girls on the Run I use most is when we learned about pressing pause and how pressing pause can help change an outlook for the better.” -Eva
The Spring Virtual 5K week had a few virtual events for community members and girls such as workouts, story time and yoga in addition to the girls to participating in the run. The week ended with a closing ceremony which celebrated the teams and each girl’s success, as well as that of our community of runners. The girls enjoyed seeing other teams, even virtually, and learning what other kids had been doing across the city.
The fall season continued in much the same way but added a few in-person teams that met at local parks, wearing masks, and social distancing.
Girls on the Run-DC Spring 2021 Program Registration opens on February 22nd!
Girls on the Run-DC offers an 8-week program in which we inspire every girl to build confidence and make intentional decisions while fostering care and compassion for self and others. Trained coaches use physical activity and dynamic discussions to build social, emotional, and physical skills in each girl while encouraging healthy habits for life, all while training to complete a 5K run! Visit www.gotrdc.org to learn more about our work!
We’re offering both in-person and virtual program options for both Girls on the Run (grades 3-5) and Heart & Soul (grades 6-8). Read more about the two options here!
Want to learn more about GOTR-DC and our Spring Season? Join us for a Virtual Open House! See available dates, RSVP, or request more information here!
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Don’t hesitate to email us at email@example.com with further questions!
Follow these steps to ensure there’s a team for your runner!
1. Does your school usually have a team? Reach out to them to see if they’re returning!
2. If your school is not returning, or if you’d like to join a neighborhood team, take 1 minute and complete our interest form to tell us where you’d like a team!
3. Interested in starting your own neighborhood team? We’re here to help! All you need is a location and group of 6-12 girls, and we’ll do the rest! Complete our New Site Application or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Leave a Reply