Time to register for Girls on the Run, STRIDE, Heart & Sole


WEST CHESTER – Winters mean boredom, cabin fever and for many kids, a lack of physical activity. Spring is just around the corner – time for outdoor sports and fun! Get your kids geared up for spring and back into the swing of being active with fun, experience-based curriculum programs that creatively integrate running with character-building lessons – Girls on the Run, Heart & Sole and STRIDE. Registration for all spring programs opens on Feb. 8 at 6 a.m. – don’t let your kids miss out!


Both Girls on the Run and Heart & Sole are run by the YMCA of Greater Brandywine at more than 50 elementary schools in Chester County. This year, the program is slated to serve its ten thousandth girl in Chester County since its start nine years ago. STRIDE is a program exclusive to the YMCA of Greater Brandywine and is celebrating its 5th successful year.


“We are excited to be celebrating these important milestones this year with Girls on the Run and STRIDE” said Nate Robinson, Girls On The Run and STRIDE Program Coordinator at the YMCA of Greater Brandywine, “Serving our ten thousandth girl in Chester County, through Girls on the Run, is an accomplishment we are proud of and are dedicated to reaching even more young people in the years to come.”GOTR


Studies show that when kids stay active they do better academically and emotionally. Exercise promotes optimal health and well-being while decreasing chances of chronic disease as well as depression and anxiety.  Children who exercise become active adults who live healthier, happier lives.


Girls on the Run and Heart & Sole are curriculum-based programs that inspire girls in grades 3 through 8 to be joyful, healthy and confident by innovatively combining coach-led discussions and lessons with running. Girls on the Run focuses on elementary school girls in grades 3 through 5, while Heart & Sole is specifically geared for middle school girls in grades 6 through 8. STRIDE is exclusively for boys in grades 3 through 5 and also guides them in vital character-building lessons as well as prepares them for the culminating 5K run in which all participate.


Participating in the 5K gives kids a sense of accomplishment, many have not known before. Crossing the finish line is a defining moment when kids realize that even the seemingly impossible IS possible.


These programs, led by trained parent-coaches meet at participants’ elementary schools twice per week for 90 minutes for Girls on the Run and Heart & Sole and 75 minutes for STRIDE. The programs run for 10 weeks. If your child’s school does not currently have one of these programs you can start one.


To learn more or register visit GOTR/H&S or contact Joy Zdebski at 610-643-9622,ext. 2138 or jzdebski@ymcagbw.org (Girls on the Run or Heart & Sole). For STRIDE visit STRIDE or contact Nate Robinson at 610-643-9622, ext. 2109 or nrobinson@ymcagbw.org.

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