Some Girls Just Want To Run!

Marlinton, WV – You’ve heard the expression ‘some girls just want to have fun’, well there’s a group of girls at Green Bank Elementary Middle school who just want to run. It’s part of the Girls On The Run program, and teacher Wanda Hrabina told the Pocahontas County Board of Education all about it at their meeting earlier this week.

“Girls On The Run [GOTR] is an international organization, headquartered in North Carolina, and it’s a group combining self esteem and physical activity for girls in grades three through eight,” says Hrabina. “It was started by a lady who as a young person going through elementary, middle and high school never felt like she was good enough. In her 20’s she started running, and she started training for some races and it was during participating in races that she found out there were a lot of other women out there who had had similar experiences in school; and so she thought she’d do something about it.”

Hrabina says once she found out that fellow instructor Lisa Wayne was also interested in the program, they decided to try to bring it to Green Bank. The girls would run in two groups, 3rd-5th and 6th-8th.

“We would be operating under a charter that’s actually in Randolph County right now,” she says. “I contacted the international headquarters, found out it’s kind of expensive to get your own chartered group. So I looked around the area, found out they already had one in Randolph County and that they had some satellite groups throughout Randolph and one in Tucker County. When I contacted the people up there they were thrilled to consider that Pocahontas County would want a satellite group.”

She says there is a written curriculum for the self esteem portion, followed by physical activity time where the girls can either run or walk. They would meet two days a week, right after school, so the girls could ride the activity bus home. It runs twice a year for 10 to 12 weeks and culminates in a 5K run.

Hrabina says the Randolph county charter provides the liability insurance coverage. She says if the program is successful at Green Bank, they hope to expand to other county schools.

Hrabina and fellow teacher Cathy Mitchell also gave an update on how they’ve been supporting technology needs in the schools – Mitchell explains.

“We’re technology support teachers,” says Mitchell. “We’re in a two year funded position, and I’m here, say right up front, to cheerlead for after this runs out [to continue it]. We are supporting teachers and the state supported software like the acuity benchmarking tests that we give. They’ve added in the last couple of years instructional resources that allow students to practice the skills they may be lacking in.”

Mitchell says they not only help the teachers with the software needed to make sure students are meeting educational goals, but also with troubleshooting equipment like smartboards and computers. Hrabina says teachers are happy because they can spend more time with their students and less time doing data analysis.

Hillsboro Elementary school Principal Ricky Sharp agrees and told Board members Mitchell’s help has been invaluable in helping his staff as they work hard to bring test scores up. Hillsboro is one of the county schools that didn’t meet the AYP requirement last year. Sharp says the school has been working with a state education representative to change that and is seeing very positive results in both the students and the staff.

Tune in for noon hour on Friday for more from the Pocahontas BOE meeting.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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