What We Do
12 weeks. 24 lessons. 700,000 girls and counting.
So what does Girls on the Run do?
One girl put it this way, “I learned that I am the boss of my brain.” Girls on the Run inspires girls to take charge of their lives and define the future on their terms. It’s a place where girls learn that they can. No limits. No constraints. Only opportunities to be remarkable.
How do we do it?
Lots of ways, but we start with helping the girls get a better understanding of who they are and what’s important to them. Then we look at the role of teams and healthy relationships. And, finally, we explore how girls can positively connect with and shape the world.
And remember, we believe that life-changing experiences can be fun too—for everyone—the girls, coaches, families and other volunteers. So don’t be surprised when you hear laughter along with self-reflection and see beaming smiles across the beautiful, confident faces of our girls.
Me + Relationships + Community
Meeting twice a week in small teams of 8-20 girls, we teach life skills through fun, engaging lessons that celebrate the joy of movement. The 24-lesson curriculum is taught by certified Girls on the Run® coaches and includes three parts: understanding ourselves, valuing relationships and teamwork and understanding how we connect with and shape the world at large. Over the course of the program, girls will develop and improve competence, feel confidence in who they are, develop strength of character, respond to others and oneself with care and compassion, create positive connections with peers and adults, and make a meaningful contribution to community and society.
Power through Service
Acknowledging that accomplishment has many flavors, each team creates and executes a local community service project. This experience demonstrates to girls the unimaginable strength that comes from helping others.
Up and Running
At each season’s conclusion, the girls and their running buddies complete a 5k running event. In some cities this is a large, community wide event and in others, it’s an inspiring gathering of friends and family. Completing a 5k gives the girls a tangible sense of achievement as well as a framework for setting and achieving life goals. The results are the same—making the seemingly impossible, possible.
Simple, engaging and extraordinary. The result? Healthy, confident girls who can.
3rd – 5th Grade Program
Over a period of 12 weeks, girls in the 3rd through 5th grade participate in an after-school program like no other. Designed to allow every girl to recognize her inner strength, the Girls on the Run curriculum inspires girls to define their lives on their own terms. Throughout the season, the girls make new friends, build their confidence and celebrate all that makes them unique.
The Girls on the Run lessons encourage positive emotional, social, mental and physical development. Participants explore and discuss their own beliefs around experiences and challenges girls face at this age. They also develop important strategies and skills to help them navigate life experiences. We start with helping the girls get a better understanding of who they are and what’s important to them. Then, we look at the importance of team work and healthy relationships. And, finally, the girls explore how they can positively connect with and shape the world.
Physical activity is woven into our program to inspire an appreciation of fitness and to build habits that lead to a lifetime of health. At the end of each three month session, the girls participate in a Girls on the Run 5k event. This celebratory, non-competitive event is the culminating experience of the curriculum. Completing the 5k gives the girls a tangible understanding of the confidence that comes through accomplishment as well as a framework for setting and achieving life goals. Crossing the finish line is a defining moment when the girls realize that even the seemingly impossible IS possible.
6th – 8th Grade Program
At Girls on the Run, we believe adolescents bring a lot to the table. We also know that girls at this age often sort through conflicting messages about their worth, their abilities and their value. Our middle school programs help girls develop the skills to tune into their own truths and to unleash their power to live confidently and joyfully.
Heart & Sole is Girls on the Run’s new program for middle school girls! Heart & Sole creates a positive, structured space for middle school girls to learn about themselves, explore new ideas, cultivate empathy, strengthen connections and develop life skills that will help them as they move through adolescence and beyond. The Heart & Sole curriculum is rich with themes girls can relate to, addressing the whole girl—body, brain, heart, spirit and social connection—and building important life skills such as team building, developing a support system, boundary setting, decision making, asking for and providing help, and more.
“I learned to be strong and never give up.”
–Ciondra, Grade 6
This 10-week program is accessible to all girls regardless of athletic ability or fitness level and considers the range of ages and varied experiences of middle schoolers. Physical activity includes strength and conditioning appropriate for this age group. The season culminates with the Girls on the Run 5k, which is the celebratory event that underscores the confidence, competence, connection, character and caring they’ve been developing in the program and gives them a tangible sense of goal setting and achievement.