Co-coaches Shannon Sommer, Greta Brown and Cynthia Martell, along with head coach Kali McCarthy, have been busy pounding the pavement with a pack of "Girls on the Run" at Capt. Albert Stevens School in preparation for a big run.

Team members received bright pink "Run Like a Girl 5K" T-shirts May 20, courtesy of Inner Sense Screen Printing, for their upcoming run on June 9, at Husson College in Bangor. The Waldo County group will be joined by other teams from Penobscot, Knox, Hancock, Aroostook, Kennebec, Frankin and Washington counties, all taking part in the celebratory 5K event.

The nonprofit group is designed for girls in third through fifth grade and promotes self-esteem, team-building, kindness and working together, Coach Sommer said. They also talk about bullying, supporting one another and how to step in if they ever witness someone being bullied.

According to the group's website, the lessons are designed to build self-worth and help girls feel confident in who they are. Activities help girls recognize their personal strengths and teach them how to stand up for themselves and others.

The program culminates with girls performing a community service project. This year, Sommer said, they have chosen Vets and Pets as their own and will be making treats for pets of veterans. They will also march in the Memorial Day parade in Belfast.

The group was started two years ago at CASS and currently has 15 girls who meet Mondays and Wednesdays after school.

"It's a good combination of exercise, social skills and fun," Coach Martell said.