Girls on the Run empowers girls to live healthy lives

Girls on the Run is encouraging young girls across the bi-state to live healthy, happy, stress-free lives.

Stress isn't exclusive to adults.  Children can also have a stressful day, and sometimes, just knowing that you've got a friend can help.

Long before the school day starts, girls at Kennard Classical Junior Academy are learning healthy habits. They're taking part in a program called "Girls on the Run." 

Tricia Moyer volunteers as a coach.

"It's more than just running, it's teaching them the skills to feel better about themselves," she said.

For 10 weeks, the third, fourth and fifth graders will exercise, not just their bodies, but their minds.

"Here they can just be more themselves, they can let loose a little bit, be comfortable," said fifth grade teacher Tina Meyer. "Just share their thoughts and opinions about whatever they want to share their thoughts and opinions about."

Coaches quiz them about healthy choices, and there's always an effort to keep them moving. Teamwork is essential and encouraged.

"Everything brings us together," said Moyer.  "And so you can just look out around you and know that there are people there for you."

Support from their peers helps ease the day to day stress children can face.

"Stop then listen, think in their head first before they talk out loud and then respond that's a big one that we teach," says Moyer.

Getting physically fit with your friends is an added bonus.  Before the program is over, these girls will train for and complete a 5K.

Related photos: 2016 Girls on the Run 5K

They're building endurance, self-esteem and so much more.

"It helps you be more confident in yourself and others and so you encourage others as well as yourself," said fourth grader Zadie.

"It's not all just running, it's playing games, stretching and doing fun activities," said third grader Katie.

Girls on the Run is empowering girls to do their best and be their best, and that's something worth getting up early for.

"Because you get to hang out with your friends and you run, no matter what, how cold it is or anything," said third grader Claire.

This spring, nearly 4,000 girls in Missouri and Illinois at 200 sites are lacing up their tennis shoes for Girls on the Run St. Louis. It's the largest single season in program's 15 year history.

To learn more about Girls on the Run, visit www.girlsontherunstlouis.org.
 

© 2017 KSDK-TV


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