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Girls on the Run is a life-changing, character-development program for girls in the third, fourth and fifth grades. The program uses the power of running to teach girls about their personal power and the importance of being healthy and active. The Girls on the Run program combines training for a 3.1-mile (5K) running event with self-esteem enhancing exercises, uplifting workouts and community service. The program instills self-esteem and strong values through health education, life-skills development, mentoring relationships and physical training. These goals are accomplished through an active collaboration with girls and their parents, schools, volunteers, staff and the community.
There are more than 160 chapters of Girls on the Run in the United States and Canada. The Turn 2 Foundation has partnered to support both the Greater Kalamazoo Girls on the Run and Girls on the Run of Southern Tampa.
Girls on the Run utilizes a specifically designed and tested curriculum for third-through-fifth-grade girls to teach the following life lessons that enhance the physical, social, emotional, mental and spiritual dimensions of each participant:
On May 26, 2011, nearly 2,200 third-, fourth- and fifth-grade girls from Kalamazoo, their volunteer coaches and more than 1,000 community runners and walkers participated in the Greater Kalamazoo Girls on the Run New Balance Girls the Run 5K. The 5K, which began and ended at Waldo Stadium on the campus of Western Michigan University, was the culmination of 10 weeks of training and life lessons for these girls. The Kalamazoo Jeter's Leaders were also on site to help motivate the participants. They made motivational posters and cheered them on en route to the finish!
Similarly, Girls on the Run of Southern Tampa Bay, administered by Frameworks of Tampa Bay, Inc., also trained to run a 5K at the end of their program year. On race day, the girls were excited to complete the goal they had been working toward all season! In 2011, the program included 116 girls from nine different sites who, through the positive development framework of the Girls on the Run program, were taught by their volunteer coaches how to build strong social and emotional skills and self-esteem, as well as help cultivate a life-long commitment to physical activity and healthy living.