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By Dan Rudy 

School program getting girls on the right track

 

Dan Rudy/ Wrangell Sentinel

Girls from Stikine Middle School jog down Church Street Wednesday afternoon as part of the new Girls on Track program. Behind them head coach Becky McIntyre minds their progress. Meeting three times a week, the two-month program combines running with character development lessons, while also promoting community service through a special fundraising project.

Taking a cue from the success of Evergreen Elementary School's winter Girls on the Run program, for the first time a similar Girls on Track group has been started for girls at Stikine Middle School.

Girls on the Run and Girls on Track are both part of a national program that combines running and training for a 5K with teaching girls life skills through interactive lessons and promoting community awareness.

The girls meet three times a week after school. Every session begins with a lesson focusing on topics specific to the girls' everyday lives. Lessons vary depending on the age group and include self-care and -awareness, dealing with stress, finding balance, internet safety, peer pressure, proper nutrition and other subjects.

The program also puts importance on giving back to the community. Each year, the girls choose and complete a group community service project.

"They get to pick what they want to do," said head coach Becky McIntyre. For last year's Girls on the Run Project, she explained "the girls picked the animal shelter. They made baked goods and drew pictures, then sold them at Bob's (IGA supermarket)." The money raised went to support the animal shelter.

The Girls on Track program lasts for seven weeks, wrapping up Oct. 9 before the start of the basketball season. The girls' season culminates with a Final 5K on Oct. 11. This year the run will be open to all-comers. Funds raised by the event will go toward covering costs for the elementary's program in February.

At the 5K, the girls will enjoy pre-run fun activities at City Park before making the run to Shoemaker Bay. All participants will receive a program medal. Afterward the girls, friends and family are invited out to enjoy a free potluck.

"This will be a great way to show these girls community support and possibly get people to get out and train as well," said McIntyre.

This is the first year Girls on Track has been available for Stikine Middle School students. McIntyre explained that the program will fill a need at the school, as girls currently have a limited choice of extracurricular activities to participate in.

For more information about the group or how to join, contact McIntyre at 874-2838 or email wrangellgirlsontherun@gmail.com.

The group also keeps a Facebook page.

 

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