Girls on the Run of Berks County will host its annual Spring 5K event at Penn State-Berks University on Saturday, May 20, at 9:30 a.m. It’s open to all runners and walkers.
Community runners and walkers are invited to join the Girls on the Run 5K at the Penn State Berks campus located at 1800 Broadcasting Road. This non-competitive 5K fun run/walk is open to community members of all ages and fitness levels. At the event, 440 Girls on the Run program participants in grades 3–8 from across Berks County will finish their first 5K, after completing the 10-week Girls on the Run personal development program at their local school.
This is the biggest season of all-time for the local non-profit, which completed its first season locally in the fall of 2013.
Girls on the Run is a physical activity-based, positive youth development program for girls. Participants meet after school twice per week in small teams of 10 to 20 girls with their volunteer coaches, completing twenty 90-minute sessions over a period of 10 weeks.
The Girls on the Run program creatively integrates running as a method of reinforcing the principles of goal setting, teamwork and personal accomplishment; and participants complete a 5K event at the end. The curriculum covers topics such as accountability and intentional decision-making, identifying and curtailing negative self-talk, resisting peer pressure and more.
Girls learn to assert themselves in a healthy manner, effectively manage their emotional responses, and identify areas of challenge and confidence in their own personalities. As a non-profit, Girls on the Run offers this unique experience to all girls, regardless of family income. Last season, 49% of program participants received financial
assistance to participate.This spring’s local school teams include: 10th & Green (2 teams), Amity, Andrew Maier, Birdsboro, Brandywine Heights Intermediate, C.E. Cole Intermediate, Cornwall Terrace, Glenside, Governor Mifflin Intermediate, Green Valley (2 teams), Greenwich-Lehartsville, Kutztown, Millmont, Muhlenberg, Northwest Middle, St. Ignatius Loyola, Schuylkill Valley (2 teams), Shiloh Hills Spring Ridge, Tilden, Whitfield, Willow Creek, Wilson West Middle and Wyomissing Hills.
The Girls on the Run 5K will be held for the first time at Penn State Berks, with a host of activities for participants. The 5K course route is fully-enclosed on the campus, to provide a safe and fun experience
for all participants. Pre-event activities beginning at 8 a.m. will include live music from DJ Ben Smith of 5 Star Productions, a free photo booth provided by ROG Orthodontics, a free “happy hair” colored hairspray station provided by Salon Avanti, a free “spirit” station hosted by Penske Women’s Network, plus a host of activities provided by other local Girls on the Run sponsors. Girls on the Run of Berks County corporate sponsors include The Junior League of Reading, Reading Health System, East Penn Manufacturing, Penske Truck Leasing, Bellco Federal Credit Union, Berks Elite Training, Body Zone Sports and Wellness Complex, Reading Pediatrics, RKL LLP and ROG Orthodontics.
Online registration is open at www.gotrberks.org through May 17 and in-person registration will be conducted at the event beginning at 8 a.m. The registration fee is $28, and all proceeds from registration fees directly benefit Girls on the Run of Berks County.
This year, patrons are invited to bring their new and gently used shoes of all types (running shoes, sandals, cleats, kids shoes and more) to the 5K in order to help raise funds for Girls on the Run program scholarships. Girls on the Run of Berks County will earn funds based on the total weight of the shoes collected, which will be
purchased by charity affiliate Funds2Orgs. Shoes can also be brought anytime through the end of May to The GoggleWorks, 201 Washington Ave in Reading.