ESSEX COUNTY AREA, NJ - Girls on the Run of New Jersey East, a nonprofit program for girls in third through eighth grade that teaches joyfulness, fitness and confidence through decision-making and problem-solving activities while integrating running, is currently open for registration for Fall 2015.

The program runs from mid-September through mid-November and costs $195 per participant. All local groups must access the registration form HERE. Click HERE for a list of locations in each county, and HERE to donate to the program. For questions about the program, call 973-951-4266 or send an email to anne@girlsontherunnj.org.

Girls on the Run of New Jersey East services the following areas: Essex County, Mercer County, Morris County, Burlington County and Union County.

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The program is a transformational physical activity-based positive youth development program for girls in third to eighth grade, according to the website. Girls on the Run teaches life skills through dynamic interactive lessons and running games. The program culminates with the girls being physically and emotionally prepared to complete a celebratory 5k running event. The goal of the program is to unleash confidence through accomplishment, while establishing a lifetime appreciation of health and fitness.

It is is a 10-week program, with meetings twice a week, which incorporates training for the culminating 5K race, along with interactive activities and discussions about "critical issues that will affect pre-teen girls as they reach adolescence."

Running games and workouts, run by trained volunteer coaches, prepare participants not only physically but also mentally and emotionally to face the challenges that come their way, according to the website.

Click HERE to read about Livingston’s first Girls on the Run team, which explains the benefits to the runners and coaches.