SPOKANE, Wash. - A local after-school program is working to instill positive behavioral and mental development in young girls in Spokane. Girls on the Run is an experienced-based program that helps kids boost their confidence levels.
Students in northeast Spokane are reporting higher levels of suicide and depression, according to Healthy Youth Survey in Washington.
While the program's name is Girls on the Run and there is running involved, the idea isn't just about physical fitness - it's about mental health, too.
"I've learned how to be yourself and not to give up," said Priscilla Littleton, fifth grader in Girls on the Run.
Nearly 500 kids in Spokane are enrolled in Girls on the Run.
It's a ten-week program aimed at helping girls face social pressures through physical activities, like running and group exercises.
"Imagine your perfect summer day. Think about your favorite part of that day, think about where you are," said Jessica Holloman, instructor for Girls on the Run.
Lessons encourage positive mental health development.
"Take a minute to think about how you shine like a star at girls on the run," Holloman said during an exercise.
The hope is that these girls will take these lessons and put them to use in their everyday lives. Some students already doing just that.
"To find the positive in yourself, and others. And don't let anybody let you down," said Leyby Miguel, fifth grader for Girls on the Run.
The hope is that each girl will develop a confidence in themselves to last a lifetime.
"If we have a challenge on it, we always want to be truthful instead of just saying - no, it's fine," Littleton said.
If you want to learn more about Girls on the Run or donate to the program, you can visit their website.
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