Chesterton Tribune



Girls on the Run program comes to Duneland YMCA

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Over a period of 10 weeks, girls in the 3rd through 5th grade are invited to participate in a program like no other. Designed to allow every girl to recognize her inner strength, the Girls on the Run curriculum inspires girls to define their lives on their own terms. Throughout the season, the girls make new friends, build their confidence and celebrate all that makes them unique.

The Girls on the Run lessons encourage positive emotional, social, mental and physical development. Participants explore and discuss their own beliefs around experiences and challenges girls face at this age. They also develop important strategies and skills to help them navigate life experiences, starting with helping the girls get a better understanding of who they are and what’s important to them. They explore the importance of team work, healthy relationships and explore how they can positively connect with and shape the world.

Physical activity is woven into the program to inspire an appreciation of fitness and to build habits that lead to a lifetime of health. At the end of each session, the girls participate in a celebratory, non-competitive Girls on the Run 5K event. Completing the 5K gives the girls a tangible understanding of the confidence that comes through accomplishment as well as a framework for setting and achieving life goals. Crossing the finish line is a defining moment when the girls realize that even the seemingly impossible is possible.

“Young girls face social pressures and conflicting messages about how they should act and who they should be,” says Ashley Hall, Healthy Living Director at the Duneland YMCA. Studies show that in adolescence, girls' confidence drops about twice as much as boys'. Friendships become more complicated and challenging, girls' perception of their academic ability declines, the likelihood of anxiety and depression increases and participation in physical activity plummets. “It doesn’t have to be this way. We feel that offering this program will help empower young girls to deal with life’s challenges in a more positive way.”

Girls on the Run meets Mondays and Fridays from 5 to 6:30 p.m., starting on Monday, September 11. Register online at Program fees are based on a sliding scale and financial assistance is available.

For more information, contact Ashley Hall, (219) 926-4204 or

The Duneland Y, at 215 Roosevelt St., Chesterton, has been serving the Duneland communities for more than 50 years focusing on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.



Posted 8/28/2017




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