Marking the end of their Spring season with the after school running program, 144 girls in grades 3-8 in ten Nassau County schools, completed the Lynbrook Runner’s Stop Girls on the Run 5K on May 31 at Hofstra University. The girls were joined by nearly 200 additional runners, including their Running Buddies and runners from the community.
Each fall and spring season, the Girls on the Run program culminates with all participants completing a celebratory 5K event together: a joyful and festive occasion where the girls’ perseverance throughout the season is honored, families witness the impact of Girls on the Run firsthand and the party atmosphere inspires all who attend. Completing a 5k gives the girls a tangible sense of achievement as well as a framework for setting and achieving life goals. The results are the same—making the seemingly impossible, possible.
Led by volunteer coaches, Girls on the Run program participants meet twice a week for fun, engaging lessons and conversation-based running games. Over the course of the program, girls develop and improve competence, feel confidence in who they are, develop strength of character, create positive connections with peers and adults, and complete a community service project. The local council was established in 2011 and built by a team of volunteers, lead by Elizabeth Murphy, a Long Beach resident.
The Spring and Fall 5Ks are open to the public. Ten schools participated in the event: Searingtown School, Albertson; Denton Ave School, New Hyde Park; Center St School, Williston Park; North Side School, East Williston; Friends Academy, Locust Valley; McKenna Elementary, Massapequa; Forest Lake, Wantagh; Lakeside School, Merrick; New Visions School, Freeport; and Steele Elementary, Baldwin.
The local council is eager to reach more girls with this inspiring program, and through a grant from the national office, they hired their first full-time council director, Leslie Turis. Ms. Turis will be responsible for program expansion to new sites, including coach recruitment. Ms. Turis brings an ideal mix of skills and experience to the position, having worked as a fundraiser, data analyst and business manager in several youth-serving nonprofit organizations, including Girl Scouts of Western PA. She is also a certified personal trainer.
“GOTR of Nassau County has been tremendously fortunate to have built an ever-growing program with leadership from Elizabeth Murphy,” says Meredith Celentano, Board Chair. “Now, with our first full-time Council Director, we believe our council will grow by leaps during the next three years. We are thrilled to have selected Leslie, as she has the vision and fortitude to take us forward into the next leg of our marathon.”
Program sites for the 2015-2016 school year are forming now.
To volunteer, donate or bring the Girls on the Run program to your community, please contact Leslie Turis at 718-736-4573 or [email protected]