Girls on the Run is the name of our organization, but we have two programs:
- Girls on the Run
- Girls on Track
( 6th-8th graders)
Girls on the Run and Girls on Track are offered each fall and spring. The program season is 10 weeks long, meet twice a week for 75 minutes after school or on weekends and is comprised of groups of 8-15 girls led by trained volunteer coaches. Girls can participate in the program as many times as they like. The concept is that a girls experience is different each season due to the group dynamics and their developmental level. The curriculum has been developed by Girls on the Run International and is updated regularly.
Each curriculum (one for fall and one for spring) covers 20 lessons. The curriculum is divided into three parts:
- Part One: Understanding themselves and setting personal goals
- Part Two: Learning skills to foster leadership, team building and cooperation
- Part Three: Examining their relationship to the community, including development and implementation of a community service project
Each lesson focuses on a specific related topic and follows a five part format that provides consistency and structure for the girl’s experience:
- Introduction/ Getting On Board: The session begins with a getting-on-board and a warm-up activity that brings the girls’ focus onto the day’s topic.
- The Warm-up: The warm up is followed by a stretching routine that allows for a topic-related question and answer time.
- The Workout: During the workout period, the girls participate in a variety of running activities that utilize a game or a team goal.
- Processing: After the workout, stretching is combined with a review and discussion of the day’s lesson that encourages participant dialogue.
- The Wrap-up: Each session closes with positive words from the girls’ coach regarding individual and group behaviors. The lesson concludes by celebrating a specific girl’s performance, behavior or attitude that day.
The principal philosophies and approach for both Girls on the Run and Girls on Track are the same, yet the curriculum is tailored to each specific age group.
The season concludes with participation in a 5K run. We participate in our own running event, The Girls on the Run 5K, in both Fall and Spring. These great events celebrate the girls’ accomplishments and participation in Girls on the Run!
Girls on the Run promotes physical as well as emotional, mental and character development. The girls complete the program with a stronger sense of identity, a greater acceptance of themselves, a healthier body image and an understanding of what it means to be part of a team. The participants are tested at the beginning and at the completion of the program to measure attitudinal changes. This evaluation, executed by Rita DeBate, Ph.D., MPH, CHES with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, showed statistically significant improvements in the girls’ self-esteem, body size satisfaction, and eating attitudes/behaviors. Click here to read study