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LA Girls Show the Joy of Running and Pride in Reaching Goals at Girls on the Run 5K Event Earlier this Spring (Courtesy Photo)
Program expands to Inglewood, Compton, and South LA’s 99th Street School
Nearly 100 area girls in grades third through eighth will get to enjoy a new after-school program courtesy of Girls on the Run Los Angeles County (GOTRLA), the Weingart Foundation and three community-based partners.A non-profit dedicated to increasing girls’ self-empowerment skills through physical confidence and positive life-lessons, Girls on the Run is expanding its Los Angeles-area program by adding six new locations in the following communities:
1) Inglewood in partnership with Learning Enrichment After School Program (leap) at College Ready Middle #5, Crozier Middle School and Monroe Middle School.
2) Compton in partnership with Big Up Kidz at the Sheikh Community Center.
3) South Los Angeles at the 99th Street School in partnership with I Have A Dream Foundation.
“At Girls on the Run, we’re dedicated to expanding into new communities and giving more girls the opportunity to discover their full potential,” says Molly Snow, executive director of Girls on the Run Los Angeles County. “Throughout the season, the girls build self-confidence, develop new friendships and celebrate all that makes them unique. We’re grateful to both our after-school program partners and the Weingart Foundation for their support in this expansion.”
“Our Healthy Behaviors Initiative is one of the things we stress at leap. Girls on the Run’s program promises to be a great fit with our focus on kids learning both mental and physical health,” says Ryan Taylor, executive director of Inglewood-based Learning Enrichment After School Program.
During a trial program held in Compton this summer, Big Up Kidz Executive Director Rochelle Lether saw some important advantages for the girls who participated. “The volunteer coaches provided really valuable mentorship for the girls,” Lether notes. “Puberty can be a confusing time in life. A positive body image can be life changing.”
Volunteer GOTRLA coach Ursulline Okonkwo loved the time she spent with the girls at Big Up Kidz during the trial program this summer. Okonkwo says the girls definitely engaged with the positive messages and safe environment provided by the program. “We had some really healthy discussions!” laughed the 26-year-old volunteer. “My background is in dance, but I started out as a running buddy, then I moved up to be a coach. It’s really rewarding to be part of this program and the girls’ lives.”
The program’s impending arrival is also generating a buzz at its third new site, the 99th Street School in partnership with the I Have a Dream Foundation. “Helping our girls improve their health, fitness and body image is a big priority for us,” says Wilma Morales-Franco, program director for the I Have a Dream Foundation. “Both the girls and moms at our school are really excited about being a part of Girls on the Run.”
Season Finale 5k Run
At the end of each season, the girls celebrate their success by participating in a non-competitive 5k (3.1 mile) walk/run. This year’s fall season will culminate Sunday, December 8th at a 5k event at the Universal Back Lot in partnership with Say No to Drugs.
The goal of the season finale 5k is for the girls to do their best and have fun. Girls are not encouraged to race competitively, but rather to reach their own individual goals. For most girls, that means making it to the finish-line…whether by walking, running or skipping.
More information can be found at http://gotrlosangeles.org, by calling 323-221-0265 or through email at
Site Expansion Fact Sheet:
Girls on the Run Los Angeles County
Site: Sheikh Community Center
Schedule: Wed./Thurs. 3:00-4:15 p.m., Sept. 11th - Dec. 12th
Program level: Grades 3-5, “Girls on the Run”
Scope: Starting with one team of 15 girls
Cost to participate: $15 per girl
Community partner: Big Up Kidz
Partner contact: Rochelle Lether, Founder, President and CEO,
South Los Angeles
Site: 99th Street School (LAUSD)
Schedule: Tues./Thurs. 4:00-5:15 p.m., Sept. 10th – Dec. 12th
Program level: 4th Grade, “Girls on the Run”
Scope: Starting with one team of 15 girls
Community partner: I Have a Dream Foundation
Partner contact: Wilma Morales-Franco, Program Director,
Program Level: Grades 6-8, “Girls on Track”
Sites and Schedules: Sept. 18th – Dec. 13th
1) College Ready Middle #5, 3:30-5:00 p.m. Wednesday and Friday
2) Crozier Middle School, 3:45-5:00 p.m. Wednesday and Friday
3) Monroe Middle School, 4:00-5:15 p.m. Wednesday and Friday
Scope: Each school is one team of 15 girls
Cost to participate: $20 per girl
Community partner: Learning Enrichment After School Program (leap)
Partner contact: Ryan Taylor, Executive Director,