Congratulations to the Spring 2019 Girls on the Run and Heart & Sole Participants

Monday, May 20, 2019

Iron Bridge would like to congratulate all of the Spring 2019 Girls on the Run (GOTR) and Heart & Sole participants on completing the Spring 5k this past weekend.  Iron Bridge was proud to be one of many sponsors for the GOTR 5K held at Hartwood Acres Park.  

What is Girls On The Run?

Girls on the Run was established in 1996 in Charlotte, North Carolina. In 2000, Girls on the Run International, a 501(c)3 organization, was established.  What started with one school has grown to over 225 councils in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.  In 2001, Girls on the Run of UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital became an affiliate council of Girls on the Run International.  Girls on the Run of Magee was established to serve the Pennsylvania counties of Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Lawrence, Mercer, Washington, Westmoreland, and Venango counties.

GOTR is more than just a running program, its curriculum is targeted to help pre-teens navigate their social, mental, emotional, and physical development. While GOTR is geared toward third through fifth graders, a sister program called Heart and Sole is offered for sixth through eighth graders. For both programs, participants meet after school for 10 weeks to learn practical skills and lessons in a fun and interactive environment. They play games and learn about the importance of teamwork and healthy relationships. They learn about citizenship by completing a community outreach project with their teammates and coaches. And they run—a little at first, as the program "sneaks" exercise into the games and lessons.

This year over 1,400 girls and nearly 300 volunteer coaches have been busy getting to know each other, getting to know themselves, learning lessons about their star power (how to find it and let it shine when clouds cover it), positive self-talk, finding balance in their lives and how to express and understand emotions.

Why is Girls On The Run Important?

In GOTR, girls learn to set realistic goals in life and athletics and pursue them week after week at each practice. At the end of the program, they complete a non-competitive 5K run to challenge themselves, prove what they are capable of and celebrate their accomplishments.

Girls on the Run lessons focus on cooperative skills and team building through a positive group setting. "As a volunteer coach and parent, I have first hand witnessed the positive impact on all the girls involved," said Amy Meyers, Account Manager at Iron Bridge.

GOTR has a positive impact on girls during the program and beyond, and makes a stronger impact than organized sports and school physical education in teaching life skills.

Girls on the Run lessons focus on cooperative skills and team building through a positive group setting. Girls learn firsthand how to create positive connections with parents and caregivers, teachers, peers, and their communities.

Girls on the Run believes that every girl is inherently full of power and potential.

Why Iron Bridge became a 5k Sponsor for Girls On The Run?

Iron Bridge activated their Star Power and wanted to get involved with such a powerful program to help young girls.  This was a way for Iron Bridge to give the gift of running to young girls. In turn, this improves our communities. Our support helps girls access the program and pays for necessities like shoes and healthy snacks.

Girls on the Run is a life-changing program for 3rd-8th-grade girls, the GOTR Magee council serves 1,400 girls a year in Southwestern PA. In their 18 year history of the program here in Southwestern PA, no girl has ever been turned away for financial reasons. Just last year, $87,000 was subsidized in partial and full program scholarships so that every girl could learn to be joyful, healthy, and confident. Nearly 200 girls a year are from homes with annual incomes of less than $10,000/year and receive full financial assistance to participate. This is only possible thanks to our program partners, individual donors, fundraising events, and GOTR 5K Sponsors.

Iron Bridge also supported GOTR with one of their own employees.  Amy Meyers volunteered as one of the Assistant coaches this season. The school where her oldest daughter attends was added as a new site this year.  This was an opportunity to help this site and be a running buddy for her daughter.  This was Iron Bridge's first year being involved with GOTR but won't be their last.  

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