Registration for Girls On the Run of Southern Oklahoma opened up this week, and the organization’s administrative staff say this season will be the biggest yet.
This fall the program will be offered in two new cities— Madill and Sulphur. GOTR of Southern Oklahoma Council Director Erica Gay said they hope to attract around 50 more girls to the program at these locations.
“It’s really exciting to know we are capable of impacting these girls regardless of the geographic distances,” Gay said. “We’re so happy the community members in that area helped us secure those schools.”
Earlier this year, Gay was looking to expand the program to Marshall, Murray and Johnston Counties and was successful at moving into two out of three. Currently GOTR has 14 locations in Southern Oklahoma and spans across four counties.
Girls on the Run is an after school program in which trained coaches in teams of three lead small groups through the GOTR curriculum, which aims to teach young girls life skills like self understanding, valuing relationships and teamwork, and understanding how everyone connects with and shapes the world at large all while staying active. The program does this by presenting a life lesson at the beginning of each meeting. Afterwards, the girls play a running game that reinforces what they learned and trains them for the 5k they run at the end of the program.
The program is offered for third grade through eighth grade girls, and the curriculum changes based on the age group.
Gay said this year will also be better than years past because they now are implementing the use of three coaches instead of two.
“We have instituted the philosophy that three coaches are better than two,” she said. “So we’re hoping this year will be less stressful for returning coaches because now they can share the responsibility.”
Early registration for the 10-week program began Aug. 9 and ends Aug. 26. The girls will begin the program Aug. 30. The registration fee is $75 which includes the price of the program, the end-of-season 5k and party, snacks throughout the season, a water bottle, a 5k medal, and two t-shirts. However, GOTR won’t turn girls away for not being able to pay the full amount. Scholarships are available to those whose annual household income is $50,000 or less. To find out more about program scholarships visit https://www.girlsontherunsook.org/Program-Registration.
GOTR’s program costs $300 per child to provide, but thanks to generous donors, like Henry Roberts Pharmacy, who helps provide running shoes at a low cost for the girls who can’t afford them, the program is able to be offered at an affordable rate.
“Henry Roberts Pharmacy wants to expand their efforts to Madill and Sulphur too,” Gay said. “We are so grateful that they have placed such a high value on this program.”
To register for the GOTR program, or volunteer to be a coach, visit https://www.girlsontherunsook.org/.