On May 20, the Tenney School’s Girls on the Run program (Boston chapter) held a practice 5K race at the school.

All 23 girls, ages 8 to 11, finished the race to the delight of the parents, grandparents, family members, staff, students and friends who came to cheer them on. With Taylor Swift blasting in the background, the girls ran together in small groups. The girls were joined by members of the National Junior Honor Society, encouraging them along the way. Once they finished, each girl ran under a colorful balloon-arch finish line and received a certificate and a medal.

Girls on the Run encourages girls to be joyful, healthy and confident. The program focuses on teaching valuable life skills while building confidence and kindness. Volunteer, GOTR-trained coaches use a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.

The Tenney School GOTR program is in its 12th season. This year was incredibly special as two former participants joined the program as junior coaches. Hailey Boumel and Jillian Bradley, both seniors at Methuen High School, participated in the program for six seasons, from third to fifth grade.

“To have them back as mentors and role models to the younger girls was very meaningful and the spirit of what this program is all about …girls supporting each other,” said head coach Sarah Hudon.

Another goal of this program is the completion of a community impact project.

The girls collaborate and select the project themselves, then work together to complete it. This spring the girls chose to make bookmarks for Nevins Library.

This 10-week GOTR program runs in the fall and spring and culminates with a 5K.

This year’s 5K was held June 1 at Suffolk Downs, when the girls joined approximately 2,000 other girls from all over Massachusetts to celebrate the end of the season.