Girls on the Run NJ East has received a $25,000 grant from Rite Aid Healthy Futures designed to combat health disparities and advance fitness and friendships among adolescent girls in New Jersey.
The announcement comes as local Girls on the Run councils prepare for their spring 5Ks, end-of-season events that are well known for their powerful positivity and celebratory atmosphere.
Girls on the Run (GOTR) is a leader in positive youth development, and its experience-based curriculum creatively integrates running to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident. The organization currently operates 171 local councils across the United States and Canada, serving nearly 200,000 girls annually, including four councils serving New Jersey.
The latest funding marks the third year of partnership between GOTR and Rite Aid Healthy Futures, the public charity affiliated with Rite Aid that seeks to advance equity and opportunity for children and youth. The grant supports the two organizations’ shared commitment to strengthening and empowering local communities.
“Each week, our girls feel a little bit more confident as they progress through our positive lessons,” said Suzanne Elliott, Executive Director of Girls on the Run NJ East, which serves girls in Morris, Essex, Union, Mercer and Burlington counties. “When they reach the 5K finish line, their sense of joy and accomplishment is magical to see.”
On June 10, approximately 800 girls and their families and volunteer coaches will gather at Branch Brook Park in Newark for a celebratory 5K event, with music and Girls on the Run spirit activities.
The grants are funded through Rite Aid’s KidCents fundraising program. Generous Rite Aid customers can round up their purchases online or in-store to support children’s health and wellness. Healthy Futures reinvests the funds into Rite Aid communities through grants benefiting organizations such as Girls on the Run.
“We remain inspired by the commitment of Girls on the Run to create a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams,” said Matt DeCamara, executive director of Rite Aid Healthy Futures. “Our partnership will ensure that more girls have access to their innovative programming that addresses health disparities and racial inequities in communities, ensuring girls can reach their full potential and futures.”