Girls on the Run of New Jersey East is seeking volunteers in Westfield, Mountainside, and Kenilworth to empower girls through running this spring. Girls on the Run is a physical activity-based, positive youth development program that inspires girls in 3rd through 8th grade to be joyful, healthy, and confident. The ten-week program incorporates running to teach critical life skills, encourage personal development, foster team building, and motivate community service. Volunteer coaches utilize a curriculum to engage teams of girls in fun, interactive lessons. Starting in early April, teams will meet twice a week for 75 minutes, with sessions scheduled after school and/or on weekends, and the program culminates with all teams participating in a 5K event held in mid-June.

Girls on the Run New Jersey East currently serves more than 1,000 girls per season at 70 sites across Essex, Morris, Union, Burlington, and Mercer Counties. Volunteers provide critical leadership and the non-profit organization is currently seeking coaches to facilitate the program with teams of 12 to 18 girls.

"I believe that I experienced more personal and professional growth during our 10 weeks together than the girls did. Our time together sparked female empowerment as girls and coaches bonded over our shared experience. Girls on the Run can inspire girls of any ethnicity, fitness level, economic status, and developmental level to be their best and strive to achieve their goals," says local coach Jill Welch.

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No running experience is required to serve as a coach. All volunteer coaches must be at least sixteen years of age. Volunteers must also complete a background check and attend a local training session before the start of the spring season. Both women and men may coach.

To learn more about coaching and the upcoming spring season, visit girlsontherunnj.org.