Girls will be on the run Saturday, celebrating successes and participating in a 5K run.
Students from Juneau School District elementary schools and others in Southeast — between 150 and 200 girls — will finish out the Girls on the Run program with its culminating event Saturday.
It starts at 10 a.m. at Twin Lakes Park with an opening ceremony. Between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. there will be activities like face painting, “happy hair” (crazy-styled and fun-colored hair) and relays.
At 11 a.m. participants will begin the 5K run.
“Everyone does the race and gets congratulated at the end,” said Vera Lumbab, marketing director for AWARE. “It’s not too crazy. It’s just a day full of fun to celebrate the girls and their accomplishments. They prepared for 12 weeks to go through this curriculum and practice running through the 5K. The 5K is pretty much it.”
There will be awards at the end of the program.
“Girls who actually finish the program will be getting medals,” Lumbab said. “It’s not anything too extravagant. It will give them something fun to do and they’re pretty young. All of the activities are really exciting.”
Each school is allowed to have 12 girls, maximum, participate. The public is invited to cheer on the girls.
Girls on the Run International is a program coordinated by AWARE, Aiding Women in Abuse and Rape Emergencies, and promotes “self-esteem and self-respect through physical training, health education, life skills development, and mentoring relationships” through a structured curriculum, according to its website.
“They learn about how they feel about themselves and learn about who they are as people and the importance of respecting themselves and their environment,” Lumbab said. “To be good team leaders, be a part of a team. ... All these little things that are essential for girls to know before they go into high school. They also learn about the community and do a bunch of projects. They definitely learn about themselves as a person. It teaches them the responsibility to be a leader and respect themselves and have healthy relationships and healthy lifestyles.”
The first run was in 2009.
For more information on Girls on the Run see: http://gotrjuneau.org/.
• Contact reporter Sarah Day at 523-2279 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.