On Sunday, December 8, girls and their families from three DHS shelters braved the cold and laced up their running shoes to participate in a 5K-run, held at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island. Sponsored by non-profit organization, Girls on the Run (GOTR), the annual event encourages participation from girls between the ages of 8 and 15, aiming to build confidence, boost self-esteem and help them reach the finish line.
Established in 1996, GOTR now serves more than 130,000 girls in over 200 cities across North America each year. With the assistance of more than 55,000 volunteers, the program provides pre-adolescent females with the necessary tools to embrace their individual strengths and successfully navigate life experience, thereby increasing their chances of success both on and off the track.
This year, DHS' Division of Family Services once again linked several shelters to the GOTR curriculum, promoting fitness and active lifestyles, and enabling girls to realize their full potential. Running buddies and coaches served as mentors for this 13-week program at the participating sites.
"Although it was extremely cold, eight out of nine of our girls ran the 5K," said Diane Colon, a recreation director at one of the sites that took part. "There were 26 parents and siblings cheering on our team. It was a great day!"
Additional activities and refreshments were also offered, giving girls the opportunity to come together with their families and shelter staff.
The 5K run culminates each GOTR season, celebrating the accomplishments of every child.
To learn more about GOTR, visit: http://www.girlsontherun.org/