WHAT GIRLS LEARN
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.
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.
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.
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.
Our 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.
When girls develop and strengthen these life skills, they can thrive. More importantly, they can then develop a final skill: CONTRIBUTION. 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.
3rd through 5 grades
Girls on the Run is our program for girls in 3rd-5th grade that encourages girls to recognize their individual strengths and celebrate connections with others. Each season, girls gain a better understanding of who they are and what's important to them, the value of teamwork and healthy relationships and how they can have a positive impact on the world. Girls also make a meaningful contribution to their community through a team-organized Community Impact Project.
Physical activity is woven into the program to inspire an appreciation for fitness and healthy habits and teach life skills including treating others with care, practicing gratitude and managing emotions. Each season culminates with a Girls on the Run 5K event. This celebratory, non-competitive event provides girls with a sense of accomplishment and instills the value of goal setting at a young age.
6th through 8th grades
Heart & Sole is Girls on the Run's middle school program that meets the unique needs of girls in 6th-8th grade. The program considers the whole girl - body, brain, heart, spirit and social connection - in a positive, structured space where girls can learn about themselves, explore new ideas, cultivate empathy and strengthen connections.
Running is incorporated into each lesson to encourage physical wellness and teach life skills such as team building, creating a support system, standing up for themselves and others and decision making. The girls prepare for a celebratory Girls on the Run 5K event at the end of the program. This non-competitive event fosters goal setting and a sense of confidence through accomplishment to last a lifetime.
HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE
We encourage and appreciate students at this level getting involved as volunteers. These opportunities include junior coaches and 5K volunteers.
We turn no girl away from our program due to financial limitations. Each season, approximately 50% of our girls required either full or partial financial support to participate in the program. We are committed to raising funds so that every girl who wants to participate can have the chance to do. If you would like to contribute, please make a donation to our Scholarship Fund.
Girls on the Run is the only national physical activity-based positive youth development program for girls with compelling evidence of program impact.
In 2016, an independent study led by Dr. Maureen Weiss, University of Minnesota, evaluated the impact of Girls on the Run on positive youth development. The findings provide strong evidence that Girls on the Run is effective in promoting season-long and lasting change in competence, confidence, connection, character, caring, physical activity, and life skills. In addition, Girls on the Run makes a stronger impact than organized sports and physical education programs in teaching life skills such as managing emotions, resolving conflict, helping others, and making intentional decisions.
Age-old gender stereotypes and ongoing societal obstacles require a commitment to strengthening a sense of confidence in young girls while fostering care and compassion for self and others. At Girls on the Run, all girls are inspired and motivated to understand and accept others, while standing up for what they believe.
WHAT WE DO
At Girls on the Run we inspire 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 20 lesson program, girls in 3rd-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
Girls face social pressures and conflicting messages about how they should act and who they should be. Studies show that by 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.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
We believe that 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 SETS US APART
So much more than running, our lessons are researched-based and delivered by trained and caring volunteers.
Girls on the Run reaches girls at a critical stage, strengthening their confidence at a time when society begins to tell them they can’t. Underscoring the important connection between physical and emotional health, our program addresses the whole girl when she needs it most.