A group of girls from Mountain View Elementary participating in the Girls on the Run Utah character development program on Thursday received a brand-new pair of Asics running shoes thanks to the Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Foundation.
“We are thrilled to support Girls on the Run Utah in its mission to inspire girls in our community to find joy in exercise and increased self-esteem as they learn to set and reach their goals,” Gail Miller, chairwoman of the Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Foundation, said in a statement.
The development program aims to inspire girls in third through eighth grade to be joyful, healthy and confident through a fun, experienced-based curriculum that creatively integrates running.
“There has never been a more profound need for the resources, lessons and activities Girls on the Run provides,” Heidi Moreton, executive director of Girls on the Run Utah, said in a statement. “Social isolation and stressors related to COVID-19 have undoubtedly affected girls, which is why Girls on the Run Utah is passionately committed to helping girls reconnect with their classmates with a fun, positive program that inspires girls to get outside and move. Over half of our participants fall below the poverty line and thanks to community partners we can provide scholarships and new running shoes to hundreds of underserved girls each year.”
Girls on the Run was founded by Molly Barker in 1996 in North Carolina. It now has local councils in all 50 states and has now served more than 2 million girls. In Utah, Girls on the Run began in 2007 with two schools and has served 15,000 girls.
The hope is the new shoes will give girls the confidence and support to make healthy choices and to accomplish their goal of finishing the culminating 5K race event on Nov. 13 at Sugar House Park. In all, the Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Foundation will donate 1,000 pairs of running shoes to underserved girls participating in the program.
This story and photos originally appeared in the Deseret News.