HEAL Appalachia grant brings Girls on the Run to Jonesborough Elementary School


L-R: Ashlynn Roy, Lauren Myers,
Kylee Coggins, Katie Campbell

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – Fifteen girls from Jonesborough Elementary School will participate in a 5K run on December 7, thanks to Girls on the Run and a $2,000 grant from HEAL (Healthy Eating, Active Living) Appalachia that brought the program to their school.

Since the beginning of the school year, Girls on the Run has made physical activity available two days a week for the third through fifth grade girls in Jonesborough Elementary’s after school program. Girls on the Run is designed to encourage activity among kids who may be reluctant to participate in team sports because they are too costly, too intimidating or too physically demanding.

Running is a simple exercise that anyone can do, and Girls on the Run couples this great activity with a 12-week curriculum that opens dialogue about body image, advertising and healthy choices. The girls at Jonesborough Elementary have gone through the entire curriculum and will complete the program by running together in a 5K race on Saturday.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 31 percent of children in Tennessee are overweight or obese. Childhood obesity is just as serious an issue in Northeast Tennessee. Many organizations are working to address childhood obesity in their local communities.

Like many other non-profit organizations, Girls on the Run relies on grants and donations to reach children with its health message. The $2,000 grant from HEAL Appalachia, awarded at the 2013 HEAL Symposium, made it possible for Girls on the Run Northeast Tennessee to expand its program to Jonesborough Elementary.

“Without the support of donors such as HEAL Appalachia, Girls on the Run would not be able to serve all girls interested in the program,” said Ani Boyd, Girls on the Run Northeast Tennessee council co-director. 

About Girls on the Run Northeast Tennessee

Girls on the Run Northeast Tennessee is a life-changing, non-profit program that encourages preteen girls to develop self-respect and healthy lifestyles through running. Girls on the Run combines training for a 5K event with healthy living education. Girls on the Run of Northeast Tennessee is an Affiliate Independent Council of Girls on the Run International which has a network of over 140 councils across the USA and Canada. For more information, see www.gotrnetn.org.

About HEAL Appalachia

Healthy Eating, Active Living (HEAL) Appalachia was formed in 2009 by Mountain States Health Alliance (MSHA) and East Tennessee State University (ETSU), along with regional partners, to address childhood obesity. We aim to inspire others to think outside the box to address childhood obesity by providing community grants, educational opportunities and forming collaboratives throughout the region. For more information see, www.healappalachia.com.

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