Girls on the Run - 2017 Practice Run
Posted On:
Monday, November 13, 2017
Girls on the Run with their amazing coaches.
Girls on the Run with their amazing coaches.

A quote by poet and author, Maya Angelou - “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” - highlighted the atmosphere of determination, support, friendship and “you can do it” attitude for all of the 3rd grade runners, running buddies and spectators at the the recent Girls on the Run (GOTR) 5K practice run at Chapin Street School.

This is the first year Chapin Street has offered this program which, according to their website, is a transformational physical activity–based positive youth development program for girls in 3rd to 8th grade designed to develop and enhance girls’ competencies to successfully navigate life experiences. The program inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.

Trained and supportive coaches teach life skills through dynamic, conversation-based lessons and running games. The three volunteer coaches at Chapin Street school are paraprofessionals, Patty Almeida, Kelley Foley and Lynn McCready. The Chapin team meets 2x a week and follows the program’s guidelines, including lessons  on topics such as positive self esteem, emotions, friendship, empathy, conflict resolution and standing up for others.

McCready explained that this year there are a total of fourteen 3rd grade girls participating in the program. The practice run is a requirement for the program, culminating with the 5K run at Smith College on November 19th. “It was amazing that the girls had their classmates and teachers cheering them to the finish line. In addition, we reached out to staff from throughout the district to be running buddies for the practice run, and the response was overwhelmingly positive.  It was heartwarming to see staff running with each of our girls and encouraging them to complete the run.”

Jennifer Karalekas LHS School Psychologist, SPED Department Chair and running buddy, stated, “I was inspired by these young girls who have the courage to be brave, take on a challenge and have the determination to reach their goal.”

With a smile as bright as a full moon, runner Audriana Leloup excitedly shared, “It made me feel so happy that I finished. I did it. I know I can do the 5K and finish with my team.  I’m just really happy!”

“What a great program,” shared Tim Brillo, LPS Athletic Director and running buddy. “Running is a lifelong activity that requires self discipline, and I am so impressed with the dedication and support for each other,  that these girls have shown in their training toward their first 5K.  Hopefully this opportunity will generate a spark in these young students to pursue opportunities to compete in cross country or track when they reach the high school.”

“Running today made me feel good- good that I didn’t give up,” said Kaitlyn Stephens, with a voice of determination. “I will go faster and succeed when I finish the 5K.”

"As an avid runner myself, it was extremely heartwarming to witness these girls working towards a goal of completing a 5K and encouraging each other along the way,” shared Baird Middle School Principal and running buddy, Stacy Monette.  “I was very happy to be a part of it."

Many of the students were excited to learn that their former physical education teacher from East Street School, Leslee Sharon, had signed on to be a running buddy.  “What an amazing event! Having the opportunity to support one of my former students was a thrill-  and in turn Vivian motivated me. As we were running through the course classes were outside to cheer on the runners - what a treat that was!  Hearing students cheer on Vivian and then shouting out Mrs. Sharon, was so cool!”

Sharon was impressed with the words of encouragement Vivian shared with her teammates along the route, “She would say -  you got this and you can do it! The event was so inspirational on so many levels, and a great way to introduce these young girls to the importance of making fitness a lifelong commitment.”

With a look of accomplishment on her face, runner, Serena Mackenzie shared how the lessons learned during their weekly meetings influenced today’s practice run.  “I learned about star power and that sometimes you might have to move clouds out the way to see your shining star.  I focused on my star and didn’t let any clouds stop me. I’m proud I finished.”

“I am not sure who was more pumped today-  the runners, the running buddies or their supportive fans (classmates and staff),” said an enthusiastic and very proud Chapin Street Principal, Nikki Reed. “Lynn, Patty and Kelley, our incredible coaches, have given 110%, inspiring all of the girls to believe in themselves, believe in each other and support each other to achieve a goal; the practice run today, pulled all of that together.  Everything about today made my heart burst!”

We welcome you to view the video below that highlights the practice race.



Aubree Buckley

Jen Potter

Layla Henriques

Kate Roy

Audriana Leloup

Heather Pighetti

Vivian Lonczak

Leslee Sharon

Serena Mackenzie

Stacey Monette

Lilia Martins

Christina Dionne

Malaya McCall

Kathy Doyle

Daisy Morris

Jen Karalekas

Danielle Mosio

Mike Halpin and Amy Walsh

Kylie Plasse

Tim Brillo

Kyla Rys

Tommy Lee and Jay Chelo

Kaitlyn Stephens

Wendi Lawson

Cayden Teixeira

Kathy & Kate Dowd

Selena Yusuf

Teresa Poteat

View all Highlights