Girls on the Run inspires girls to recognize their inner strength and celebrate what makes them one of a kind. Trained coaches lead small teams through our research-based curricula which includes dynamic discussions, activities and running games. Over the course of the ten-week program, girls in 3rd-5th grade, 6th-8th grade develop essential skills to help them navigate their worlds and establish a lifetime appreciation for health and fitness. The program culminates with girls positively impacting their communities through a service project and being physically and emotionally prepared to complete a celebratory 5k event.
Why It Matters | What It Means
Girls face social pressures and conflicting messages about how they should act and who they should be. Studies show that in adolescence, girls’ confidence drops about twice as much as boys’. Friendships become more complicated and challenging, girls’ perception of their academic ability declines, the likelihood of anxiety and depression increases and participation in physical activity plummets. But, it doesn’t have to be this way. Every girl is inherently full of power and potential. By knowing they are the leaders of their lives, these are the girls who will change the world.
What the Girls Learn
CONFIDENCE: Lessons are designed to build girls’ self-worth and help them feel greater confidence in who they are. Activities help girls recognize their personal strengths and teach them how to stand up for themselves and others.
CHARACTER: By gaining awareness of the power they possess to make intentional decisions, girls learn to choose positive actions which demonstrate respect and responsibility towards themselves and others.
CARE: Throughout each season, girls learn to respond to others and themselves with care and compassion lessons and activities further develop their abilities to sympathize and empathize both within and beyond their social groups.
CONNECTIONS: Girls on the Run lessons focus on cooperative skills and team building through a positive group setting. Girls learn firsthand how to create positive connections with parents and caregivers, teachers, peers and their communities.
COMPETENCE: The program provides skill-building experiences to nurture girls’ physical, social and emotional competencies that they apply in other areas of their lives such as home, school, and in the neighborhood. Completing a 5k at the end of the season gives them a tangible opportunity to apply all that they have learned.
CONTRIBUTION: When girls develop and strengthen these life skills, they can thrive. More importantly, they can then develop a final skill. Girls on the Run inspires girls to build lives of purpose and to make a meaningful contribution to community and society. This comes to life through a key element of the curricula when each team creates and executes a community service project.