L.A. girls, lace up your running shoes and sign up for Girls on the Run L.A. County, a 12-week after-school program designed to help activate your potential and push you to boldly pursue your dreams. In addition to running and physical fitness, the program – for ages 8-14 – addresses bullying, healthy eating, body image, community service and other important issues. It ends with a celebratory 5K event.
“Girls on the Run helps young girls to gain confidence and respect for others. We take pride in a large and diverse community of girls participating in our program each year,” says Molly Snow, executive director of Girls on the Run of Los Angeles County. “This spring we had 575 girls at over 40 locations throughout the county, and we hope that number keeps growing.”
Girls on the Run is also looking for volunteers. Women over age 18 are eligible to volunteer as head coaches and assistant coaches, serving once or twice a week, helping empower the next generation of girls and making an important difference in their lives. High school girls ages 16-17 can volunteer as junior coaches, developing their own leadership skills while serving as an important role model to the younger girls. Interested coaches should visit http://gotrla.org/coach/ or email Volunteer Manager Katie Bradshaw at Katie@gotrla.org.
The nonprofit has sites in Altadena, Baldwin Hills, Canoga Park, Compton, Glendale, Inglewood, La Cañada, La Crescenta, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach, Pasadena, Pomona, Rancho Palos Verdes, San Dimas, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks and Torrance.
The program costs $225 per girl, with financial aid available. Discounts are provided to as many as half of participants, and girls are never turned away based on financial need. Participants receive lessons twice a week from trained volunteer coaches, and receive a water bottle, T-shirt, a healthy snack at each practice and free entry into the season-end 5K. “When these girls cross the finish line,” says Snow, “they know that they can achieve anything.”