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Girls gain self-esteem through special program

COAST CITIES — Girls on the Run, a nonprofit organization empowering young girls to make healthy choices in their lives, develop leadership skills and increase self-confidence and self-respect, has opened registration for 2009.
Sessions will take place twice a week in Carmel Valley and Solana Beach beginning Feb. 9. The program was designed to help 8- to 11-year-old girls before they encounter what Molly Barker, the founder of GOTR, calls the “girl box” — that place where society, peers, even parents inadvertently direct so many girls, a place where they think they are judged on a superficial level only.
Girls on the Run is a national experiential learning program for girls in third through fifth grade. With approximately 150 councils and 40,000 participants each year, GOTR is as much about good health, friendship, positive body image and self-esteem as it is about running.
For 12 weeks, each participant learns how to celebrate herself through interactive activities such as running, playing games and discussing important issues. The program then celebrates the growth and progress of each girl with a noncompetitive group 5K and community project.
GOTR San Diego is currently accepting registrations and applicants for volunteer coaches for all Spring 2009 sites. Coaches attend a one-time training and are provided detailed lesson plans. They do not have to be runners themselves; the only requirement is that they be enthusiastic and committed to the healthy development of young girls.
For more information on Girls on the Run, including how to sign up or volunteer, visit or contact Kim Primerano at (760) 586-7952.