Sunday, December 10, 2000

Girls run beyond fun




By Marie McCain
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Nearly 300 girls participated in the Mount Adams' 5K Eggnog Jog Saturday as part of an after-school program that helps them develop self-esteem and a positive body image.

        Girls on the Run, a nationwide non-profit program, is run locally by Norwood residents Jody Maxey and Tracey DuEst. The program is designed to teach girls ages 8-12 to value themselves and not to draw their self-respect from their appearance.

        “I get so much from this. It's taken over my life,” Ms. Maxey said. “I've always wanted to work with children and coach and this allows me to do both.”

        The program was started a year ago, Ms. Maxey said. It began with 15 girls at Fairfax Elementary School, but has grown to 264 girls at more than a dozen area schools.

        Girls on the Run is a 12-week program, which costs $150 per girl, that incorporates such lessons as building self-confidence and positive self-image with physical activity.

        By the end of the 12-week session, the girls participate in a race.

        “They can walk, run, or jog. We don't care. The point of this is to get them moving and to get them to feel better about themselves. It's not the outside that matters, but the inside,” Ms. Maxey said.

        Ms. DuEst, a dietitian, said the program is open to girls with disabilities.

        “We want every girl to realize that they need to be comfortable with themselves and confident in themselves,” she said.
        For information or to volunteer, call 731-0089 or check out the Web site at www.girlsontherun.org
       

       



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