School Beat: Belmont Girls on the Run

By Jeremy Karel

Principal, Belmont Elementary

Belmont Elementary is excited to have two Girls on the Run teams for this coming spring season.  Our students will be under the leadership of Lisa Abramowski (kindergarten teacher), Jeane Blazic (resource room teacher), and Lauren Billings (fourth grade teacher).  Girls on the Run is a rewarding program for third through fifth grade girls.  The focus of the program is to integrate powerful life skills while training for the 5K race that takes place on May 19th in downtown Grand Rapids.

During each practice, girls learn about topics such as positive self-esteem, peer pressure, and even how to diffuse bullying.  In the spirit of developing character, Girls on the Run teams participate in an impact project.  Each team selects a cause that will make a difference in the community.  Most recently, Belmont’s team chose to send a care package to a student in the district who was sick and had to be away from school.

This year, Belmont Elementary’s team will be involved with the Boston Marathon.  Lisa Abramowski was chosen by one of the sponsors of the Boston Marathon, Hyland’s Homeopathic, to represent teachers across the country in the iconic race.  She was chosen because of her passion for teaching and her desire to “run for good.”  Lisa’s involvement with Team World Vision and the Surrender Running Club has helped mentor students in Grand Rapids and provide clean water for children in Africa.  As she begins to train for the 26.2 mile race, she hopes to inspire her Girls on the Run team to dream big and stick to them no matter how challenging they may be.

It is a powerful moment to watch the girls cross the finish line at their first 5K race, and incredible to see all of the teams from Kent County unite and run together.  It is also a wonderful time for the girls to celebrate how much they’ve grown personally throughout the season.  In this moment, students realize they are capable of more than they could ever have imagined.  Girls on the Run teaches that with the right attitude, hard work and perseverance, they are truly unstoppable.

For more information, or to learn how to volunteer, please visit