The Sitka chapter of the international Girls On The Run program will host its end-of-season event, a five-kilometer (3.1-mile) run at 11 a.m., Saturday, May 11, at the Sitka Sound Science Center. The event promotes empowerment for girls and education about domestic violence.
The Sitka event is hosted by Sitkans Against Family Violence (aka, SAFV), which teamed up with Sealaska and other groups to host similar events throughout Southeast Alaska. According to the Sealaska Girls On The Run site for Southeast Alaska:
What is Girls on the Run? Girls on the Run International is a life-changing empowerment program for girls (ages 8-14). The program combines training for a 5K (3.1 mile) running event with healthy living and self-esteem enhancing curricula. Our programs instill self-esteem and self-respect through physical training, health education, life skills development, and mentoring relationships.
It is a fun curriculum based on extensive educational research and “on the track” testing academic evaluations showing “statistically significant” improvement in girls attitudes about body image, eating attitudes, and self-esteem.
The 12-week program (24 sessions meeting twice a week for 1-1 1/2 hours) combines self-esteem enhancing life-lessons, discussions, and running games in a fun and encouraging, girl-positive environment where girls are free to express themselves and build confidence. AWARE (Aiding Women in Abuse and Rape Emergencies, a group in Juneau) offers this program in Juneau through AWARE and throughout Southeast Alaska in partnership with WISH (Women In Safe Homes, a group in Ketchikan) and SAFV.
The goal of Girls on the Run is to empower girls early in their lives to find strength, courage and self-respect from within and draw upon it as they face the challenges of adolescence and adulthood. We all know being a girl is a big job, and to be the healthiest and happiest girl possible we need to come together with other girls to learn, live, dream and RUN!
We at AWARE Inc, believe that interpersonal violence can and must be prevented. We believe that by unplugging ourselves from the girl box (disconnecting from the messages that limit and minimize girls potentials) and tapping into our full and complete selves: we are working with girls to empower them, their potential and self-confidence, we are taking steps towards violence prevention here in Juneau.
On Tuesday, May 7, SAFV staffer Brian Sparks joined Girls On The Run coaches Dianna Twaddle and Kym Johns and a couple of the runners on the KCAW-Raven Radio Morning Edition interview, where they discussed Saturday’s event and what it means for the girls to complete the five kilometers.