Girls-run-sixth

Girls participate in a team project during this season's Girls on the Run program.

MATTOON -- Girls on the Run East Central Illinois and the Mattoon Area Family YMCA are partnering to host the sixth Girls on the Run 5k this April. 

Girls on the Run is a nonprofit, after-school program for girls in third through eighth grades. During the course of a 10-week season, volunteer coaches teach life skills such as handling bullies, dealing with body image and the media, making healthy decisions and contributing to the community.

This character-building program focuses on bolstering self-esteem, confidence and improving physical and emotional health. During the course of Girls on the Run, the girls train together to complete a 5k (3.1 mile) run -- the culminating event of Girls on the Run.

“Girls and women are faced with so many challenges today, including being told over 3,000 times a day by all forms of media that we are not thin enough, beautiful enough, or smart enough; just to name a few of the messages. Girls on the Run can give them the tools and the confidence to ignore those messages and make healthy, life-long decisions,” said Girls on the Run of East Central Illinois Council Director Beth Gillespie in a press release. “We have sites across six counties this fall and are grateful for the opportunity to serve over 200 girls this season.”

The Girls on the Run 5k is scheduled for 9 a.m. April 12 on the campus of Eastern Illinois University. This event is open to any man, woman, or child who is willing to run, walk or skip to the finish line. This event is a noncompetitive, celebration 5k. Times are not recorded and race results will not be posted. All finishers will receive a medal.

For more information or to register, visit www.girlsontheruneci.org or sign up in person at the Mattoon Area Family YMCA.

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