As fall settles in I am overwhelmed with gratitude as I look back on all 2015 has brought Mini Mermaid Running Club. I am excited and hopeful for the end of the year and as we look out to 2016. The 2015/16 school year has already seen sessions completed in Morgan Hill and Santa Cruz as well as San Francisco, Orinda, Half Moon Bay and San Jose. On November 1 in San Francisco I had the opportunity for the first time since we began in 2009 to run alongside our Mini’s as they completed their 5k. I will not soon forget Sophia’s face rumbling through discerning Mini Mermaids voice over Siren’s as she worked to stomp out her 3.1 miles. When I told her we were turning for the finish line, the determination in her step and strength in her posture lit my soul on fire for the work we are doing. - Heidi Boynton, Executive Director
Coach Shannon Rafat from San Martin/ Gwinn Elementary School in Morgan Hill, CA shares about one of her special Mini Mermaids: Our spectacular Mini Mermaid is a 5th grader named Miriam Gutierrez. This Mini Mermaid is a role model for all. She always has a smile on her face, is kind to everyone and works hard in everything she does. She is proud of her grades in school and runs 2 miles everyday after school. San Martin Gwinn and the Mini Mermaids thank you for being a wonderful role model. Congratulations Miriam!
Charlotte is a mother of two, a full-time marketing director, and a Mini Mermaid Running Club coach at Vallemar Elementary in Pacifica, CA. Here is what she had to say about her experience as a MMRC coach:
I chose to coach our Vallemar MMRC team because as a woman raising a woman, I know all too well about the discouraging voices of those around us and even more so the voices within. As soon as I learned of the Mini Mermaid story and everything she represents, I knew this was something I needed to do. The girls I had the privilege of coaching were not all familiar faces. I got to meet several girls for the first time and really get to know them over the six week course. I quickly became their biggest fan and felt moved each time they overcame an obstacle, ran a little longer than the week before and shared feelings they were once intimidated to share. By far, my favorite part of the coaching experience was seeing each girl set goals and achieve those goals. I got to witness and play a role in the self discovery process of the girls’ strength, ability and confidence. I was delighted with each encouraging word, every motivating story, and the pure pride each girl felt meeting new goals. I am so thankful for my experience coaching these young ladies and encourage others to try this program in their own schools and communities. It is my hope that every girl feels the pride, confidence, trust and respect for themselves that I feel for my mini mermaid team.
We can't believe it was six years ago that we rushed to a local meeting of 100 Women Who Care Santa Cruz to present an idea born just hours before. With the small grant awarded that night, the wheels began spinning. That winter was spent writing and rewriting curriculum for what we thought would be a small number of girls at one school in Santa Cruz, a school where over 80% of the kids live at or below the poverty line. We knew we wanted to offer these girls something they would not normally have access to. That was 5 years and 5100 girls ago and now here we are, ready to launch our sixth year of programming and we are growing every day. Keep your eye out in the next couple of weeks for our first ever year-end campaign. Our goal is to raise $25,000 by December 31st, to continue delivering our program for free to our country's neediest students and we need your help to do it. Every dollar donated goes to bring Mini Mermaids and Young Tritons to kids around the country. December 1st is when it all starts, jump on facebook, twitter or Instagram - tell your friends and your friends' friends, it takes a village and we are grateful for every single one of you.
Sessions begin the week of February 22,
end at the Santa Cruz 5k on April 10
Sessions begin the week of January 4,
end at the Mermaid San Diego 5k on February 13
Sessions begin the week of February 29,
end at the Fast Times 5k April 16
Sessions begin the week of March 21, e
nd at the Mermaid East Bay 5k on May 7