News / USA

    US Organization Helps Girls Build Self Esteem

    Girls aged 8 to 13 are encouraged to stay in physical shape
    Girls aged 8 to 13 are encouraged to stay in physical shape

    Multimedia

    Deborah Block

    An organization in the United States is helping girls maintain a healthy lifestyle and build self esteem.  Girls on the Run uses running to encourage girls from 8 to 13 to stay in physical shape.  The group also holds after school sessions where girls learn positive behavior.  

    Nine year old Ela Kalra is taking part in Girls on the Run at Washington International School.  

    "It's really fun and it teaches you about self respect and how you should care for others and what you should feel about yourself," Kalra said. "You shouldn't be mean or unkind to anybody else."

    Ela is among 60,000 girls in 45 states who are participating in the 10-week program.  They also learn about nutrition, and how to be more assertive.

    Molly Barker, a runner, founded Girls on the Run in the southern state of North Carolina.  She says the girls discuss what she calls, "the girl box," society's definition of how girls should look, act and feel.  She's critical of it.  

    "There's a certain appearance a girl should have, there's a certain way she should address people and act, and even in educational roles, girls tend to shrink to the back of the classroom," Baker said.

    Barker says the girls learn that instead of trying to fit into the stereotypes, they should be themselves.  The girls discuss developing positive behavior, such as caring about others, and avoiding negative behavior like bullying.

    At this recreation center in Washington DC, Autumn Saxton-Ross is a Girls on the Run coach.

    "When you're in a group, and you're this age, you don't realize that picking on someone, or calling someone a name, or singling them out, can be considered bullying," Saxton-Ross said. "What we really want to teach them is to recognize these behaviors."

    Each group takes part in a service project.  The girls at Washington International School are running and taking donations for a Washington-based group, Girls Gotta Run Foundation.  The money is used to buy shoes for girls in Ethiopia who are training to be professional runners. And it also helps keep them in school.

    Ashley Griffith is on the foundation's board of directors.

    "Many of these girls, before Girls Gotta Run came into the picture, didn't even have shoes," she said. "One of them had a story that she had to get up at five o'clock in the morning to borrow her brother's shoes in order for her to get her run in."

    Mahelete Yared from Ethiopia has a daughter in Girls on the Run at the International School.  She says the money for the Ethiopian runners will help them achieve their dreams.

    "In Ethiopia it's very difficult to have bigger dreams and really believe they will ever come to completion," Yared said.

    Girls on the Run is in its 14th year.  Coach Saxton-Ross says the program gives girls the tools to be future leaders.

    "It speaks to all girls, regardless of what your house looks like, regardless of what your neighborhood looks like, regardless of what you look like," Saxton-Ross said.

    You May Like

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Factions Shift as Civilians Die in Syrian War

    Scenario likely only to further confuse military situation on ground and potentially worsen humanitarian crisis that already has grown to epic proportions

    Presidential Hopefuls Woo Minorities, Evangelicals

    Four GOP candidates to speak at forum at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.