Girls on the Run received a $1 million grant to support its continued inclusion, diversity, equity and access (IDEA) work.
Etters, York County-based Rite Aid Healthy Futures renewed its partnership with Girls on the Run (GOTR) to ensure its mission to combat health disparities and advance fitness and friendship among adolescent girls, it said.
The announcement comes as local GOTR councils prepare for their spring 5Ks, end-of-season events that are well known for their powerful positivity and celebratory atmosphere, Rite Aid Healthy Futures said.
“As we continue to empower girls to reach their full potential, we remain committed to ensuring that our programming reaches all communities and provides a place where all participants feel like they belong,” said Elizabeth Kunz, CEO at Girls on the Run. “Reaching girls at a young age helps them learn healthy habits and life skills that will support them into adolescence and beyond. For girls from communities facing challenges such as poverty and health disparities, the need is even greater.”
The $1 million grant will benefit the Girls on the Run headquarters as well as the 50 local councils in Healthy Futures’ footprint, with funding focused on the continued development of GOTR’s inclusion, diversity, equity and access (IDEA) work, Rite Aid Healthy Futures said.
Local councils will use the funds to diversify their coaching staff, increase program access to girls of color and further enhance programming that acknowledges the needs and realities of their communities, GOTR said. Funds will also go to strengthening the organization’s core programming and training while supporting sustainability across local councils, many of which are still recovering from the impacts of COVID-19.
GOTR is a leader in positive youth development, and its experience-based curriculum 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.
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, Rite Aid Healthy Futures said. The grant supports the two organizations’ shared commitment to strengthening and empowering local communities.
“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, enabling girls to reach their full potential and futures.”