Best Place for Girls to Follow Hearts and Soles: Athletic Club has high ideals

RISE Community School's Girls on the Run Program

Girls on the Run International teaches elementary-age girls about running and health, but the program is also about empowerment and self-esteem. Founder Molly Baker, a four-time Ironman triathlete, set her heart on helping girls focus on their internal values, not just fitting into what she calls “the girl box” (a limited, appearance-centered ideal). At Oakland’s RISE Community School, the local chapter is teaching girls to do just that. The sessions, starting in the fall and spring, concentrate on walking and running progressively longer distances. But they also involve a shared community-service project, communication skills, confidence-building, and teaching girls trust in themselves and others. Spring training culminates with the Spring 2007 Lollipop Run on May 19 at SF’s Crissy Field, where girls will attempt either a one-mile run or a 5K.

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