‘Girls on the Run’ program searches for mentors

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Christine McConnellee from “Girls on the Run” joins us live to discuss a great program that builds self- confidence with your girls.

Girls on the Run of Collier County, a life-changing character development program for girls ages 8-12, is expanding for the upcoming spring season due to an increase in need for the after school program.

The 2015 spring season begins on on January 26 at 11 elementary schools and parks throughout Collier County. Girls on the Run is looking for men and women interested in mentoring these youth for the 10-week season as well as corporate sponsors to help offset the additional girls being served this season.

When they started the program in Collier County in 2013, GOTR had 24 girls. A year later, 92 girls completed the spring 2014 season. This season they will have more than 120 girls complete the program.

“It’s exciting to see the growth, but the reality is that a third of our girls are on scholarships, so we really need our generous Naples community to step up and offer support this season,” said Girls on the Run of Collier County Executive Director Christine McConnelee.

“According to national statistics, 75 percent of middle school principals say bullying or harassment is a serious problem. Issues with body image, gossip, eating disorders, depression, bullying and suicide are real issues and occur daily in our schools here in Collier County. We strive to prepare our girls to be able to handle these issues in a healthy way before they reach middle and high school.”

Over a 10-week period, girls attend 20 sessions that are lead by trained coaches who guide and mentor the girls through a curriculum focused onteamwork, community service and self-respect. The goal is for girls to complete the program with a stronger sense of identity, greater acceptance of themselves, improved eating attitudes and a greater likelihood to continue healthy exercise habits.

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