Family First: Girls on the Run

Family First: Girl on the Run

A local youth development program is sing running to teach young girls lessons about life. Girls on the Run is for girls in the 3rd-8th grade. Unleashing confidence through accomplishment, the program hopes to establish a lifetime appreciation of health and fitness all while helping girls to gain a better sense of self.

It's Brennan Deshotel's second year with the program. Bragging on how fast she finished the 5K all of the girls run towards the end of the 12 week program, she says she can relate to some of the topics brought up during group exercises. "I like how they make physical activity go with the lesson, so when you're doing the running part it corresponds with everything, says Brennan."

Her mother Susanna, who is now a Girls on the Run coach, brought the program to the Montessori School for Shreveport. "They just had a lot of wonderful things to say about how much it helped their girls build confidence, really build character, not only with being able to participate in running but also getting them active."

There are currently over a dozen women in the Shreveport area training to become coaches like Susanna. Third grade teacher Julia Popewell says it is her second year as a coach and she is now the 5K Race coordinator. "I'm learning all about myself along the way and through this program but, a lot of things I do bring back to my classroom, says Popewell."

But how can you teach lessons of life through the sport of running? It's a question Council Director Beth Ann Menger is asked often. She says, "It's a goal that you're setting and we use that throughout the program. Ultimately, we want the girls to have a stronger sense of self and to know that they are worth something."

Just the encouragement these young runners need to make it to the finish line.

If you are interested in signing your daughter up for Girls on the Run, you can visit their website at

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