Girls on the Run Program off to a positive start

JERSEY SHORE — Thirty-two enthusiastic voices of third to fifth grade girls greet each other in the Jersey Shore Elementary school gymnasium a couple nights a week for the new program introduced to the elementary school, Girls on the Run, by life skills teacher Jodi Woleslagle.

Inspired by posts from friends on social media with daughters participating in Girls on the Run at other schools, Woleslagle presented the idea to the school board last spring. Upon approval, Adrienne Johnston, Jersey Shore Elementary principal, and Woleslagle met with Jill Girio, Girls on the Run program coordinator for the Greater Susquehanna Valley, what the Jersey Shore program would need and how to pursue those resources.

Several teachers joined Woleslagle to be volunteer coaches including Theresa Caimi, Ann Knipe, Amy Jones and Samantha Moon and from Andrea Decker, Jersey Shore Elementary Parent Teacher Organization president.

Gianna Martino, fifth grade student, joined the program because it sounded fun, she wanted to improve herself and she wanted to reach the goal of running a 5K. Now that she has been in the program a few weeks, she likes making her goals and cheering other girls to reach their goals, Martino said. She feels the greatest benefit is everyone being nice to each other and working together.

At the end of the 10-week program, there is a celebratory 5K at The Miller Center, Lewisburg. The 5K is on Nov. 17 and is attended by all of the girls participating in the Girls on the Run Program in the Greater Susquehanna Valley.