Girls on the Run, Congressman Buddy Carter, State Representatives and School Leaders Host Press Conference at South Effingham Elementary School

Elected officials, Effingham County school leaders and corporate sponsors will visit South Effingham Elementary School’s Girls on the Run Program on Wednesday, October 17 at 3:00 p.m. The dignitaries will observe the program in action and talk to girls who are participating. South Effingham Head Coach, Kayla Mullins, has two teams of 20 girls and a cadre of enthusiastic and energetic Coaches.

According to Mullins, “Everyone loves Girls on the Run.  The girls are having a blast, being physically active and learning amazing life skills.  I wish there had been something like this when I was growing up.  The South Effingham Elementary family has gotten behind this great program in support of the girls and school district leaders have been enormously supportive.”

The press conference will delve into the program’s impact on the girls and the school community. Congressman Carter and other elected officials support Girls on the Run’s efforts to address physical inactivity, bullying, conflict, negative media messaging and other issues facing young girls entering adolescence.  According to Carter, ““I am looking forward to visiting another Girls on  the Run program as this program helps girls develop self-respect and learn important life skills that will be critical as they grow up. I also hope to learn more about how the program plans to expand so it is able to serve more girls. Thank you to the leaders from the Effingham County Schools for their support of Girls on the Run programming in their system.” 

Girls on the Run has been serving Chatham, Bryan, Effingham and Liberty Counties since 1996.  The program started with 30 girls in 4 sites and now serves over 1250 girls in 50 sites with the addition of the Lowcountry counties of Beaufort and Jasper.   Girls on the Run Coastal Georgia and Lowcountry (GOTR) is a physical activity-based, positive youth development program.  The program teaches key life skills to girls in 3rd through 8th grade through dynamic discussions and fun games that creatively integrate running.  Girls on the Run, for 3rd – 5th graders, and Heart & Soul, for 6th – 8th graders, use running as a vehicle to influence positive social, cognitive, physical, emotional and psychological development.  The program meets after school, twice a week, for 10 weeks, for a total of 30 hours of programming.    

Physical activity is woven into the program to inspire an appreciation of fitness and to build habits that lead to a lifetime of health.  At the end of the 3-month session, the girls participate in a Girls on the Run 5K event.  This celebration is non-competitive and gives the girls a tangible understanding of the confidence that comes through accomplishment.  Crossing the finish line at the 5K builds confidence and enables the girls to experience the joy of athletic accomplishment.  The girls get a tangible sense of achievement as well as a framework for setting and achieving life goals. 

Over 70% of program participants are on financial aid.  Support is underwritten by individuals, businesses, organizations and grants.  Shoes for girls who can’t afford them are provided by National Girls on the Run Partner, Asics.  One such financial supporter is Dino Papadopoulos, owner of Sylvan Learning.

Sylvan Learning, Girls on the Run Program Sponsor, will also be recognized at the press conference.  As part of Sylvan’s sponsorship, girls enrolled in Girls on the Run get special discounts on:

  • Free academic testing
  • Free consultations
  • Exclusive discounts for tutoring (including Eureka Math)
  • Access to STEM Robotics
  • Video Game and Coding
  • MAP and GMAS Instruction

Girls on the Run International was established in 1996 in Charlotte, North Carolina. What started with 13 girls in one school has grown to over 200 councils in all 50 states and Canada.  

Girls on the Run 5K’s are largest 5K series in the nation.

For information on Girls on the Run or for more information on becoming a Coach or volunteering for Girls on the Run, contact Maria Center at 

or 912-349-1528.  Additional information can be found on the website: