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A running program that also teaches young girls about such topics as healthy decision-making, friendship and goal-setting begins its fall program this month. Registration, which was to wrap up today at local schools, has been extended to Sept. 20.

Girls on the Run of Bartholomew County is part of the nationally acclaimed running program for girls in Grades 3 to 6. It will take place in 12 schools in Bartholomew County and two in Brown County.

“These girls embrace being joyful,” said Jennifer Shaver, Girls on the Run of Bartholomew County Council director. “They learn the importance of being responsible and intentional in their decision making and to respect themselves and their community.”

Practices take place twice a week after school. Exact times and days vary by school. Volunteer coaches follow an experience-based curriculum that creatively integrates running. Each practice consists of an important lesson for pre-teen girls.

Another key aspect of the program is training for the season-ending 5K (3.1-mile) run. The Nov. 16 Running for the Stars will take place in downtown Columbus.

Girls on the Run of Bartholomew County is an affiliate of Girls on the Run International, a nonprofit with more than 150 locations across the United States and Canada. It is coordinated locally through Foundation for Youth.

Now in its fifth year, the program served 150 girls in 14 schools last spring.

Girls on the Run

The fee is $60 and includes a T-shirt, water bottle, running journal, 5K entry and snacks after each practice. A sliding fee scale and scholarships are available.

Participating schools this fall are Clifty Creek, Mount Healthy, Parkside, Richards, Schmitt, Smith, Southside, Taylorsville and Helmsburg elementary schools; CSA Fodrea and CSA Lincoln; International School of Columbus (seventh- and eighth-graders); St. Peter’s Lutheran School; and Brown County Intermediate School.

The following schools are still seeking volunteer coaches: Rockcreek, Hope, Van Buren and Sprunica elementary schools.

Online information: or 372-7867.

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