Rising Raptors Empower Young Girls

Carbon School District’s Director of After School Programming, Alisa Morley, recently spoke with me about a program implemented in the district’s elementary schools last school-year. The program is called “Girls On The Run.” The program’s website states: “Girls on the Run reaches girls at a critical stage, strengthening their confidence at a time when society begins to tell them they can’t. Underscoring the important connection between physical and emotional health, our program addresses the whole girl when she needs it the most.”

Morley along with Karina Boyden, K’Lyn Hepworth, and Robyn Geyser got Carbon elementary schools involved and have been so impressed with the outcome. Using materials and help with equipment from the program, The Rising Raptor staff were able to start with 29 girls throughout the five elementary schools. “The more we implemented the program, the more we recognized the great benefit it offered our girls,” said Morley.

The physical exercise alone was a benefit to the overall health and wellbeing of each girl; but then to add in the emotional regulation exercises, the values of respect for self and others, the connection with team members, community, family, and staff, and the way the activities stimulated brain function were all a part of making participating in Girls On The Run a life-changing experience. Morley recalled, “It was fun to see the hope that it ignited in our girls to recognize that they have power within themselves to create good things in their lives. Being a part of empowering girls to become a better version of themselves and to see how good they felt about that was an incredible experience.”

In rural communities we often don’t have the same or at least not as many opportunities to become a part of something bigger than ourselves but Girls On The Run offered that opportunity to some of the girls in our schools this past year and the program directors and students were grateful for the experience.