TAMPA, Fla. - Keeli Dailey loves to run. It takes the stress away, which is why she loves her afterschool program, Girls on the Run. This program is designed to use running to teach life skills to girls from 3rd grade to 8th grade.
“I’ve learned that a lot of people are different and just because they are different doesn’t mean you have to be mean to them,” explained Keeli.
Laura Moore, the executive director of Girls on the Run, says they service over 1,300 students in the greater Tampa Bay Area. The 10-week after school program ends with a glittery bang.
“We come together and we run the Girls on the Run 5K. And that’s their kind of big graduation from the program in a time when they get to use all of the skills they have learned over the course of the program. They really get to put them in action that day. It is a day like no other. It is so sparkly, it is so joyful.”
Since they can’t come together in large groups this year, Moore wanted to be sure all the girls still got to run over a finish line. So, this year the race is going to be a virtual 5K. The kids can complete their 5K between April 27 and May 2.
Moore wanted to make sure everyone had an opportunity to complete the challenge, so the students do have options. They can run a 5K in their neighborhood or on a treadmill. They can also do one mile, run/walk for 40 minutes, complete an Orange Theory bingo kit for 40 minutes, or create their own physical challenge for 40 minutes.
Keeli is taking this change in stride.
“We are going to run a 5K in my neighborhood and report to my coaches. Well, it’s a little different, but I still love Girls On the Run, virtual or not.”
This 5K is also open to the public. The program services over 1,300 students and over 50% of them get scholarships so they can participate. GOTR is asking for a $25 donation to participate. All of the proceeds will go to the scholarship fund for the students.
LINK: You can sign up at their website GOTRtampa.org