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Girls on the Run Wants Volunteer Coaches
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Sunday, February 25, 2024
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

Girls on the Run is looking for volunteer coaches to help mentor third- through eighth-grade girls in the Wood River Valley.

Coaches will meet with a small group of girls afterschool, taking them through a curriculum that teaches social skills and relationships. And they will help foster self-esteem through running and fun team-building playground activities that will culminate with the Color Me Fearless 5K on June 1 in Hailey.

Groups will meet on school grounds beginning April 8.

Girls on the Run provides comprehensive training for volunteer coaches, said Teressa Johnson, executive director of Girls on the Run Southern Idaho.

“This training ensures that coaches understand social context and are empowered to create inclusive environments for participants,” she said. “This unique experience creates safe and trauma-sensitive environments as coaches are trained to recognize and minimize bias and enable coach-participant relationships. The best part is that anyone can be a coach--you do not need to be a runner to have a tremendous impact at Girls on the Run.”

Adolescents who have positive relationships with adults outside their families experience mental health benefits, according to research about navigating adolescence. They feel more supported, are more socially expressive and are less likely to be depressed than adolescents that lack such relationships.

A Boise-based group that surveyed Wood River Valley students recently determined one of local youth’s biggest lament was the lack of trusted adults they felt they could turn to.

“Girls who participate in our program experience positive connections with their coaches. They believe their coaches understand them, care about them, listen to them, show confidence in their ability, encourage them to ask questions and provide them with choices,” said Johnson.

Want to know more? Visit www.gotrsouthernidaho.org/coach. Or call 208-788-7863 or write info@gotrsouthernidaho.org.

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