Girls On The Run–Pocono kick started its 2023 initiative in March that will culminate with the annual 5-kilometer runs May 12 at Keystone College in Lackawanna County and May 19 at East Stroudsburg South High School.
“Girls On The Run teaches school-aged girls critical life skills,” said Dolores Everett, in her 21st year as director for Girls On The Run - Poconos. “It’s a research-based program where girls meet in small teams after school.
“Volunteered trained coaches use a fun experience-based curriculum that creatively integrates running and physical activity into each lesson. More importantly, we strive to inspire girls of all abilities to strengthen their confidence and learn other important life skills through dynamic interactive lessons.”
The girls meet with their adult-led team twice a week after school for 10 weeks. Along with growing mentally and physically, each group chooses a community project as part of the 10-week lesson objective. More than 8,000 girls have taken part in the program since its inception. Girls On The Run also has a chapter in Lehigh Valley.
The national organization is celebrating its 27th year of operation with more than 2 million girls Grades 3-8 taking part through more than 170 different council locations over that span.
“Giving back to the community is an important part of the overall objectives of Girls On The Run,” Everett said. “The girls come up with the objective and design it themselves. The coaches just guide them.”
The program, locally sponsored by St. Luke’s University Health Network, ends with an annual celebration 5-kilometer run.
For the Lackawanna, Luzerne, Pike and Wayne county participants, that run is 6 p.m. May 12 at Keystone College in LaPlume.
For the Monroe and Northampton county initiative, that run is 6 p.m. Friday, May 19 at East Stroudsburg South High School.
While the final celebration is a 5-kilometer run, it’s not a race. There are no medals for first, second or third place. Whether the girls hop, skip, jump, walk or run, they get a finisher’s medal for completing the program, because the true win for Girls On The Run is the emotional, mental and physical growth that is gained.
Everett, who is a fitness professional and a personal trainer, said Girls On The Run is always looking for volunteers to offer support along the celebration run course, hand out medals, or act as a running buddy. To volunteer, go online to GOTRPocono.org.