Boys on the Run would be an offspring of the already nationally acclaimed project, Girls on the Run. I have participated as an assistant coach for the St. Johns, Michigan branch of GOTR, and feel that it is an incredibly positive program that would be beneficial with both genders. The program would mirror Girls on the Run in many ways. It would be available to 4th and 5th grade boys and coached by volunteer men who would act as mentors for the children. Several teenage boy assistants could help, making the system run smoother. Meeting twice a week, the young boys would have their sessions divided into two basic areas: healthy lifestyle training and running. Each day would provide the opportunity for a new topic to be discussed and to do activities along with (alcohol/drug abuse, eating well, fitness, body image, etc...). The second part of the day (sessions are an hour-and-a-half long) would be devoted to running. The running portion is one of the huge parts of BOTR; it contains gradual training for a celebration 5K event for all local BOTR participant branches at the end of their program. During the celebration, the boys would complete a 5K run with their coaches and have the chance to take pictures with their teammates. From my experience with GOTR, the kids enjoy the experience immensely, although it sounds like a drag to most adults. It also allows the parents to see what their children have been training for and give them a sense of pride for their child. The purpose of the program is to teach the kids healthy lifestyle routines, to improve attitudes and to allow them to be committed to something other than school (not that school isn't important!!!). This project builds many friendships and helps the kids to see the good in themselves, especially after completing something as huge as a 5K. Basically, we want them to be proud of who they are and what they can do but willing to take an even larger step of acceptance by implementing a healthy lifestyle.
THIS IS NOT AN ACTUAL PROGRAM YET, IT IS SIMPLY AN IDEA THAT I HAVE.