Girls-on-the-Run Program Keeps Gilbert Elementary Students Active & Confident 

Many students like to relax after a school day, maybe play video games or watch some television.

But some girls at Gilbert Elementary School in Augusta are staying active during those hours.

“Let’s go girls!”

“I love running and I like hanging out with my friends,” said one runner.

The Girls-On-The-Run program is a national youth development organization dedicated to boosting young girls’ confidence and keeping them active.

“Some people might look at it and be like ‘Oh, well it’s just a running program,’ but it’s not,” said Jenna Sementelli, a Coach and Kindergarten Teacher.

Sementelli and Paige Knowlton volunteer their time, along with a few others teachers and community members, to coach the third, fourth, and fifth graders.

“We start with a lesson and that lesson is based on self-awareness, self-confidence. We talk about peer-pressure, how to be positive instead of negative,” said Sementelli.

Then they run, applying what they’ve learned to promote healthy lifestyles and positive encouragement.

“Coming every Monday and Wednesday and seeing the smiles on the girls’ faces- it’s definitely worth the extra time that’s put in. Not to mention that the physical activity is really important to incorporate,” said Paige Knowlton, a Coach and Third-grade Teacher.

“And their confidence has grown tremendously,” said Sementelli.

Each girl sets goals for how many laps she’d like to run.

“I have four laps so far and I need a few more in order to make nine laps,” said Scarlet, a third-grader.

“It sounded really fun and I didn’t do it last season but my friends kept wanting me to do it and so I did it and it’s really fun,” said another runner.

The girls of Gilbert Elementary hope other schools in the area will implement the program so they can have even more running buddies to support.

“Girls on the run is super duper fun!” they all screamed at the conclusion of practice.