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Applications are now being accepted through December 15, 2015 As Girls on the Run® of Stark County begins preparations for their Spring 2016 season, they are asking elementary and middle schools, as well as other interested community organizations, in Stark County, Ohio to start submitting site applications. While participants pay an income-based fee to participate, there is no cost to host a program. GOTR Stark provides the snacks, supplies, curriculum, and training to ensure the success of each program. Sites must supply safe dedicated outdoor and indoor spaces. In 2015, 568 elementary school girls and 85 middle school girls improved their self-confidence and learned essential life skills through Girls on the Run and Girls on Track programs throughout Stark County. GOTR Stark hopes to increase these numbers to 650 elementary school girls and 150 middle school girls. To help achieve that goal, the 2016 season will feature an all-new curriculum for middle school girls, called Heart & SoleTM. Heart & Sole, which replaces Girls on Track, was developed by Girls on the Run International to meet the unique needs of middle school girls by focusing on the whole girl. The curriculum is designed with themes that girls can relate to and helps build essential life skills, such as building a support system, setting goals, emotional regulation, and overcoming obstacles. Just like our elementary program, Girls on the Run, Heart & Sole is accessible to all girls regardless of their athletic ability or fitness level and considers their age range and varied experiences. How the Programs Work Over a period of 10 weeks, girls in the 3rd through 5th and 6th through 8th grade participate in an after-school program like no other. Designed to allow every girl to recognize her inner strength, the Girls on the Run and Heart & Sole curricula inspire girls to define their lives on their own terms. Throughout the season, the girls make new friends, build self-confidence, and celebrate all that makes each of them unique. The bi-weekly lessons encourage positive emotional, social, mental and physical development. Participants explore and discuss their own beliefs around experiences and challenges girls face at this age, including bullying, peer pressure, choosing the right friends, making healthy decisions, and contributing to the community. They also develop important strategies and skills to help them navigate life experiences. Physical activity is woven into our program to inspire an appreciation of fitness and to build habits that lead to a lifetime of health. At the end the season, the girls participate in the GOTR 5k Run/Walk. Completing the 5K gives the girls a tangible understanding of the confidence that comes through accomplishment as well as a framework for setting and achieving life goals. Crossing the finish line is a defining moment when the girls realize that even the seemingly impossible IS possible. The next Girls on the Run season begins the week of March 7 and wraps up with the Girls on the Run 5k on Saturday, May 21 at Walsh University. Anyone interested in submitting an application to provide the program at their location should contact Amy Shock by phone at 330-244-9331 or by email at amy.shock@girlsontherun.org. Coach training sessions are available in December 2015 and January 2016. For more information about hosting a program at your site, visit www.GOTRStarkCty.org/GOTRStark_New_Site.html. The deadline to submit site applications is December 15, 2015. Girls on the Run of Stark County is a 501(c)3 nonprofit council of GOTR International. Our mission is inspiring girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum that creatively integrates running. GOTR programs are offered spring in Stark County. For more information on starting a program or volunteer opportunities, contact Amy Shock at 330-244-9331 or visit www.gotrstarkcty.org.