Girls-Only Programs Building School Connectedness
Girls on the Run started in 1996 in Charlotte, N.C. Girls on the Run Greater Houston, an independent council of Girls on the Run International, was formed in 2001.
The mission both then and now is to “inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.”
At Spring Shadows, teachers Jhericol Skinner and Peggy Garcia jumped at the opportunity to start an all-girls group on campus this school year. The plan was to create a program from scratch, but Skinner and Garcia soon learned that was not necessary. Spring Shadows received a Girls on the Run Scholarship. The scholarship covers the full costs of the ten-week program including membership for up to 15 girls, the curriculum and lesson plans, and Girls on the Run gear.
Twice a week Skinner and Garcia engage eight girls on the three pillars of the program: understanding ourselves, valuing relationships and teamwork, and understanding how we connect with and shape the world at large.
"I just hope that each girl learns self-confidence, self- awareness, and how to build relationships with others,” said Skinner. “I want the girls to embrace their uniqueness. Although this is a program for the girls, Peggy and I are also learning and growing!"
Spring Shadows Principal Rachel Martinez believes programs like Girls on the Run are not only aligned with SBISD’s core value of Every Child but also help students feel more connected to the school.
“Our district has multiple measures of student success, and one of them is student connectedness,” said Martinez. “We want every child in our school to feel they not only have a safe and engaging learning environment, but authentic connectedness to the other students and adults in our school.”
Skinner and Garcia also believe increasing student connectedness can improve academic achievement in the classroom.
“Our girls have a ton of potential, but sometimes they need an all-girl environment to allow for more significant growth and personal development,” said Garcia. “Girls on the Run gives girls the space they need to run into their potential - not away from it.”Click here to learn more about ways to engage in SBISD schools.