LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — As the Clark County School District comes to a close almost 700 elementary and middle school girls will have a new pep in their step heading into their next grade.
This is thanks to an after-school empowerment program called Girls on the Run. It integrates running, physical activity, and essential life skills into the lives of girls who are in third-eighth grades.
"Girls on the run has taught me how to have empathy, how to make new friends or put yourself out there for others and understand," 9-year-old Sophia Lopez said, as she has been a part of the program for two years.
Research shows, beginning at 9-years-old, girls tend to suffer a considerable decrease in self-confidence that can continue into high school.
The ten-week program, currently funded by the United Way of Southern Nevada and the Women's Leadership Council, culminates with a 5K run on the campus of UNLV.
The 5K is something the girls build up too, as some start the program not even able to run far at all but end up running over three miles without stopping, according to a group spokesperson.
This finale is complete with face painting, balloons, and a party atmosphere where running is fun.