Barlow Mountain Elementary School began two new parent-led running programs this past April, both taking place before school twice per week.

The programs are national programs known as Girls on the Run, for third through fifth grade girls, and Let Me Run for fourth and fifth grade boys.

There were over 25 participants in both programs this spring, led by four volunteer parent-coaches — all avid-runners.

Both programs have a similar, multifaceted approach, open to children of all fitness levels; they focus on personal responsibility, positive thinking, as well as taking care of ourselves and our environment. They also focus on how to help the child find his or her own inner-strength, and the parent-coaches are trained how to do just that prior to the start of the program.

There is also an optional 5K at the end of both courses, (eight-week course for Let Me Run, 10-week course for Girls on the Run).

The 5K races both took place Father’s Day weekend this June, and it was a way for all the participants to celebrate their hard work, applaud their accomplishments, and plan for their next fun-run.