Girls on the Run is a national nonprofit organization that gives 3rd – 5th grade girls the opportunity to learn about physical fitness, healthy eating, and positive self-image while having fun with their friends in an after-school program environment. Girls on the Run of Northwest Indiana has clubs at schools all across the region, including at East Chicago Lighthouse Charter, East Chicago Urban Enterprise Academy, and McKinley Elementary.

This year, the Foundations of East Chicago (FEC) partnered with Girls on the Run of Northwest Indiana to get more East Chicago girls involved in the program. To do this, FEC awarded a grant to Girls on the Run, which covered the registration fees of East Chicago girls who wanted to join the program. This worked to ensure that East Chicago youth could receive the lifelong benefits of high self-esteem, work ethic, and healthy living offered by the program.

Girls who sign up for the 10-week program meet twice a week for approximately two hours after school. They participate in outdoor activities together, including stretching and running. The girls then break for a snack before tackling the day’s lesson. Girls on the Run has a national curriculum that all coaches and volunteers are trained on prior to the start of the program. Each day offers the participants a different lesson regarding healthy living, self-esteem building, and community volunteerism. Some days even feature bonus activities, like making your own healthy snack or working on a community project. Participants also have the opportunity to take various field trips throughout the course of the program.

To learn more about Girls on the Run, visit