On Saturday, May 18, at 9:30 a.m., Girls on the Run of Berks County will host its annual Spring 5K event at Penn State Berks University, open to all runners and walkers.

Community runners and walkers are invited to join the Girls on the Run Spring 2019 5K on Saturday, May 18, at 9:30 a.m. at the Penn State Berks campus, 1800 Broadcasting Road.

This non-competitive 5K fun run/walk is open to community members of all ages and fitness levels. At the event, over 470 Girls on the Run program participants in grades three to eight 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.

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, 55% of program participants received financial assistance to participate.

This spring’s Berks County teams include: 10th & Green, 10th & Penn, 12th & Marion, 13th & Green, Andrew Maier, Brandywine Heights Intermediate, Colonial Hills Fitness Center, Daniel Boone Middle, Glenside, Green Valley (two teams), Greenwich-Lenhartsville, Kutztown, Millmont, Muhlenberg Elementary, Northeast Middle, Northwest Elementary, Oley Valley Elementary, Oley Valley Middle School, Reiffton Elementary, Riverside Elementary, Schuylkill Valley Elementary(two teams), Schuylkill Valley Middle (two teams), Shiloh Hills, Spring Ridge, Tilden and Whitfield Elementary.

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 Special D, a live performance by Stephanie Grace, a free photo booth provided by ROG Orthodontics, a free “happy hair” colored hairspray and sparkle station provided by Salon Avanti, a free “spirit” station hosted by Penske Women’s Network, the Performance Toyota Pace Car, 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 Hospital – Tower Health, East Penn Manufacturing, Penske Truck Leasing, Allstate Michael Schaeffer Agency, Bellco Federal Credit Union, Body Zone Sports and Wellness Complex, JPrutzman Enterprises, LLC., Performance Toyota, Reading Pediatrics, RKL LLP, ROG Orthodontics, State Farm Tina Saracino and Tompkins VIST Bank.

Online registration is open at www.gotrberks.org through May 15, 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.

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