Newsletters 2015-16 Focus newsletter, [3] winter - Page 7

PREPARING STUDENTS FOR LIFE PAGE 7 Girls on the Run program helps build confidence, foster friendships at University Avenue Elementary School Fifth-grade student Lily Thai never thought she could become a runner. And she certainly never thought she would be able to run as fast as — or even faster than — the boys in her class. Lewis serves as head coach along with four other teachers who volunteer as coaches. The program requires a minimum of eight girls to sign up. “We were a little nervous we wouldn’t even get eight, but we ended up getting the maximum of 20, plus we have a waiting list. So it really exceeded our expectations,” she said. “It was pretty amazing.” Jewel Ellis, a fifth grader at University Avenue, said she learned about the program at the school’s open house and thought it would be a fun activity for her and her friends, and her mom agreed to be her running buddy during the 5K. Ellis likes that it’s a girls-only group because it feels supportive, she said. “It makes me more confident. If it’s just girls, we’ll al