"Girls on the Run" at FHSD

Posted on 05/17/2017
Students practicing for the "Heart & Sole" 5K Run"

Girls on the Run has empowered strong, motivated, and healthy girls across the country and in the Francis Howell School District (FHSD). Girls on the Run is a 10-week program recognized by the National AfterSchool Association (NAA) as one of the nation’s “Most Influential in Health and Wellness” programs available to young girls in third through eighth grade. Girls on the Run is the only program in St. Louis with this recognition. Not only does it focus on training for a 5K run at the end of the program, it also helps girls develop their strength of character, confidence, compassion toward others, encourages creating positive connections with peers, and many other life skills necessary for growth and maturity. This year, six FHSD schools participated in the 10-week program, and will participate in the 5K run in downtown St. Louis, on Saturday, May 13. The FHSD is thrilled to have 144 girls participating with 44 coaches this season.

 “As a junior coach, I have the opportunity to encourage the middle school girls through the programs, activities, and their practice runs,” said Francis Howell High School (FHHS) junior Amber Stoutenborough. “I was in middle school when the program started. Being here now for this generation of students, and helping them learn the same necessary life skills that I hold tight to in my life is the most rewarding.”

Throughout the program, students studied the “girl wheel,” a chart that has five categories: brain, heart, social, body, and spirit. Each section of the wheel focuses on different topics such as nutrition, self-care, appreciating diversity, personal values, problem solving, and more. Students enjoyed learning more about themselves and learning even more about their peers.

“You can see them living out what they’re taught in the program throughout the school day,” said Bryan Middle School Assistant Principal Dr. Angy Dickson. “At lunch time, our girls would see other students eating by themselves and would offer to sit with them. Then, we usually see them with a new group of friends, making more connections throughout the day, and being the absolute best they can be. This program is helping our girls live out their potentials, and we see it unfolding in real-time.”

Congratulations to all of the schools participating in the Girls on the Run program!


Becky-David Elementary

Bryan Middle School

Harvest Ridge Elementary

Hollenbeck Middle School

Independence Elementary

Warren Elementary

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