Five Great Reasons to Coach Kids!

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Three of EmBe’s signature after-school programs will begin in March, and they are in need of volunteers like you!

Girls on the Run is an activity-based, positive youth development program for grades 3 through 5, and over 1,500 girls participate in Sioux Falls each year. This bi-annual program teaches life skills, inspires confidence and promotes positive health while preparing the girls to run in a celebratory 5K at the end of the season.

Just like Girls on the Run, Heart & Sole also teaches positive health, self-confidence and important life skills, but this is a middle school program for grades 6 through 8 and focuses more on the “whole girl” — body, brain, heart, spirit and social connection. Their curriculum inspires small acts of kindness, and their physical activity includes appropriate strength conditioning for this age group.

Let Me Run is an after-school program for boys in grades 4 and 5. Its mission is to inspire boys through the power of running while building healthy relationships and promoting an active lifestyle. These boys also participate in the 5K at the end of the season, but they focus strongly during their time together on courage, healthy mind and body, loyal friendships and positive teamwork.

All of these spring seasons last through May and culminate with a 5K on May 4 at Yankton Trail Park in Sioux Falls. And they need encouraging, positive and supportive coaches like you. Here are five reasons to consider coaching for either Girls on the Run, Heart & Sole or Let Me Run:

1. Teach Confidence

These empowerment programs teach youth to take charge of their life and be confident in their capabilities. Upon completion of each season, recent studies show that 85% of youth improve in confidence, competence, caring character and connection. But that empowerment must begin with YOU! In order to build confidence, youth need to be educated and gain a better understanding of their bodies, their mind and who they are. When we give them our time and challenge them to self-reflect, that’s where growth and maturity begins. They need a positive coach to get there. 

2. Build Life Skills

During the 10-week program, participants are talking about and building life skills such as helping others, resolving conflict, managing emotions and intentional decision-making. These skills can sometimes be over-looked in the classroom! That is why having coaches like you is so vital to keeping Girls on the Run, Heart & Sole and Let Me Run available. These programs are opportunities for children to be vulnerable and honest in an environment they might not otherwise experience.

3. Relationship Building

Not only are you giving youth a chance to make friends and practice teamwork, you are building relationships with fellow volunteers, too! At any age, children are watching the adults in their life and are inspired by their actions. This is an opportunity to act with kindness and practice positive body image in front of vulnerable youth.

4. Counteract Bullying

Recent studies show that 50% of girls ages 10 to 13 experience bullying such as name calling and exclusion in school. Moreover, girls’ confidence begins to drop as early as age 9. These age groups are such a critical time in a child’s life to be present and supportive! Having courage and rising above these statistics begins with dialogue, and that dialogue begins with YOU. The conversation needs to happen now.

5. You Can Change A Life!

When you commit to coaching, you open yourself up to the possibility of simply being present for a child, being supportive in time of need, listening when they need compassion and providing education during a sensitive, growing age. The youth in our community need us, and they deserve our attention. This volunteer opportunity is worth your time and energy, and you absolutely will gain from the experience, too!

To sign up as a coach, contact EmBe’s program coordinator Allison Sinning at asinning@embe.org or 605-681-8328.

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