Girls on the Run (GOTR) is a national initiative to develop and empower girls in third through eighth grades to develop healthy habits, relationships, and essential skills that will carry them through adolescence to adulthood. Trained coaches lead small teams through a research-based curriculum, which includes dynamic discussions, activities, and running games. Over the course of a ten-week program the girls not only participate in daily activities and exercise to prepare them to complete a celebratory 5K event, they develop a community impact project for the benefit of a local non-profit organization.
At Paul Cuffee School, the GOTR team chose endangered species as a concentration for their community impact project. With the encouragement of their coaches, Zoe Neves, Allison Thayer, and Amy Weigand, the students designed and made animal-themed crafts and sold them at a school event to raise money for the Roger Williams Park Zoo and the endangered species they support. The staff at the Zoo was so impressed with the girls’ initiative and their $61.41 donation, they invited the whole GOTR team and their families to a private tour of the new Rain Forest Exhibit with Lou Perrotti, the Zoo’s Conservation Program Director.