Girls on the Run

Jamie Justice, physical therapist, physical therapy, dekalb, IL

Jamie Justice, PT, WCS

Creative Therapeutics has been an annual sponsor of Girls on the Run for the past several years.  After learning about this program, I joined with another mom to bring it to my daughter’s school. Now we are coaching fifteen girls on our first Girls on the Run team!

Participation in this international program is increasing in DeKalb County.  McHenry and Ogle counties are also fielding teams for the big 5K event. Girls on the Run takes girls from 3rd through 5th grade and encourages them to challenge themselves physically by training for the 5K run at the end of the program. Just as importantly, it also helps them to develop valuable social-emotional skills such as building self-esteem through accomplishment, managing emotions, learning to support one another while being conscious of how much words matter. The girls also develop a community project during their experience to learn the importance of giving back, a project carried out at the end of the season.

As a coach and as a mom, I have been blown away by this program.  Their mission is to empower girls and they do a beautiful job having lessons planned out, weaving together the physical running with the self-esteem building activities. This is an age when many girls might be considering or beginning participating in organized sports, and this program provides an excellent foundation for that. I have loved getting to know these girls better–and it’s been a wonderful way to spend time with my daughter.

Our race is May 19th through the NIU campus so if you feel like cheering on some young girls, many of whom are running their very first race, come out and support!  And if you have a daughter, granddaughter or niece that has the opportunity to participate in Girls on the Run at her school, encourage it! For more info, click on the Girls on the Run logo, below.

We developed a handout for the parents of everyone participating in this event which is a kind of variation of the article Sam Eakes, DPT, wrote for our newsletter a few months back, concerning guidelines for parents of younger children, especially girls, who are beginning to get involved in athletics. Check out that article here.

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