According to Physical Education teacher Mrs. McCutcheon-Saylor, the "Girls on the Run" (GOTR) Program is beneficial to young girls both physically and mentally,
"GOTR is an afterschool running program for girls in third through eighth grade (they have two programs: GOTR for girls in third through fifth grade and Heart and Soul for girls in sixth through eighth grade.) This program teaches girls how to take care of themselves and others, how to set goals and achieve them, what empathy is and how to show it and how to resolve conflicts. It also provides girls with an outlet to express themselves all while building confidence and relationships with the coaches and other GOTR girls. This program empowers girls to not only to be physically active but to be kinder and happier humans and to value their own self-worth. One of the GOTR goals the girls set is completing the 5K event which happens at the conclusion of the program, girls will hop, skip, run or walk to the finish line!"
This program started at Wylandville Elementary in 2021, bringing Wylandville to its third season in the program. According to Wylandville Elementary's Principal Shannon Balch, Borland Manor Elementary and Wylandville Elementary had separate teams last year. Some kids from Hills-Hendersonville Elementary also went to Wylandville Elementary to participate. This year, Wylandville Elementary and Borland Manor Elementary combined teams and hosted practices at Wylandville. Hills-Hendersonville Elementary also had students that came to the team at Wylandville.
This was South Central’s first year participating in the "Girls on the Run" Program! According to Coach Michelle Patragas, they started on March 6 and ended May 17th with a Practice 5K on the Montour Trail and End of the Season Celebration! The girls then ran May 21 at the official "Girls on the Run" Race at The Waterfront! Ms. Patragas said this program is more than just running,
"Girls on the Run is so much more than running, it ignites a confidence in girls now and into the future. During these after school sessions, there were lessons that blended physical activity with life skill development. Unlike other after-school programs in North America, Girls on the Run empowers the WHOLE girl – mind, body and soul."
South Central Elementary had sixteen girls that participated in their first year and Ms. Patragas thinks it was a rewarding experience for all of them! She says they are already looking forward to next year! The team at South Central was coached by South Central's third grade teacher Michelle Patragas; South Central Paraeducator Pam Jox, and South Central's first grade teacher Claire Priore.
Click below for some great photos from the race yesterday, courtesy of Principal Balch and Coach Patragas!