The rapid escalation of the COVID-19 pandemic and announcement that schools will be out for the remainder of the year resulted in Girls on the Run (GOTR) councils across the commonwealth of Pennsylvania making the difficult decision to discontinue in-person programming and 5K celebrations statewide. This decision is impacting close to 9,000 families and 1,400 trained volunteer coaches as well as the collective financial stability of our 11 GOTR councils.
Known nationally for our focus on developing the physical, social and emotional health of our girls, and leaning into our core value of finding strength in our connectedness, Girls on the Run council leaders across the state and the country, met virtually to rapidly develop alternative program delivery models, ensuring that our girls would continue to receive the connection, the physical activity and the safe space they need to navigate the confusing emotions and fear that many are currently experiencing.
GOTR at Home is providing families with on demand video lessons, twice a week, that they can do together, or that girls can complete independently. GOTR Connect is providing safe, virtual spaces for girls to deepen relationships with team mates while dedicated volunteers trained in trauma responses, guide the discussion. We encourage physical distancing not ‘social distancing’ because now more than ever, our girls need that trusted adult relationship provided by their favorite volunteer coach. They are already missing the connection they feel with the other girls during the in person GOTR practices. The safe and brave space we provide during GOTR Connect allows them to process the changes in their world and to share their thoughts, feelings and fears with their team. Our role in helping our families maintain positive mental health and fostering healthy relationships is more critical than ever before.
One other important aspect of the GOTR experience is setting and accomplishing goals, which the girls do by participating in a season-ending GOTR 5K. In the spirit of keeping all families moving forward, we are proud to introduce an opportunity for families to lace up their sneakers for a fun, impactful, virtual event. Across Pennsylvania, all 11 Pennsylvania Councils are collaborating to present the GOTR PA-5K Your Way! This virtual ‘5K’ will take place from May 23-May 31 and is open to the community. “Your Way” means plenty of options for every family to participate in fun, physical challenges. Each council will provide specific links free registration for not only our spring season participants and families, but the entire community! All are welcome to join us and can choose to run, complete an Activity Card (provided upon registration) or do your own thing!
We are profoundly grateful to our loyal, local and regional sponsors, partners and volunteers whose support is unwavering. We are profoundly inspired to provide a reason for our communities across our state to come together and encourage each other through the virtual GOTR PA 5K Your Way. #GOTRPA5KYourWay.
Your place / Your pace
PA Councils and websites:
GOTR Berks County
GOTR Central PA
GOTR Chester County
GOTR Capital Area
GOTR Lancaster/Lebanon Counties
GOTR Lehigh Valley
GOTR Montgomery/Delaware Counties
GOTR UPMC Magee Pittsburgh