816 North Opinion

Northland kids learn that aborbing life lessons can be fun

Want to make a group of kids happy? Let them run.

On the way out of church, heading back to the car after an outing or while I haul my folding chair to the field before their games, I love the joy that springs to my kids’ faces when I give them the OK to speed off.

Jennifer Bhargava learned that running isn’t just fun for kids, it can also be the backdrop to lessons that help them grow into confident adults.

In today’s 816 North, Jennifer reports on Girls on the Run, a program that aims to instill messages about self-esteem, respect and good communication to preteen girls as they train to run a 5k race. She explains the appeal that has helped the program grow locally from just 25 girls in 2007 to more than a thousand this year.

There are other skills a kid needs to learn to get by in the world. How to properly razz a guy who cheers on the wrong team is one of them, and Susan Vollenweider lays out a rewarding way to do that in her column this week.

Also in 816 North, Glenn Rice reports on a Northland neighborhood whose residents were surprised to one day find that their city had hauled off playground equipment at their neighborhood park. Now they’re working to get something even better in its place, and Glenn examines the hoops they’ll have to jump through.

There’s plenty more in 816 North that I hope you’ll enjoy.