Participants from Hindley, Royle and Tokeneke elementary schools' Girls on the Run chapters represented the Darien community at the Jingle Bell Jog 5k event in Greenwich Dec. 8.

The event was the culmination of the 10-week Girls on the Run program, whose mission is to inspire girls to be healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum that integrates running.

As a part of the Girls on the Run Fairfield County association, sponsored by the New Canaan YMCA, the Darien programs featured girls in grades 3 to 5.

Hindley's volunteer coach, Jessica Anderson, said, "Coaching these girls has been a fantastic experience. At the end of the race, it was clear how proud they were of themselves.

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"But I think an even bigger accomplishment than the race, was how they came together as a group, and how they all supported each other.

"What I really love about this program is that it gives girls a venue to talk about things they might not otherwise discuss. We talk about what it means to be a good friend, what it means to have self-confidence, and what it means to be healthy both physically and emotionally. These are powerful messages, and I think reaching them at this stage in their lives, before middle school, is truly invaluable."

Girls on the Run will return to Darien in the spring.

For information, visit or contact Davie Cedela, at