Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Children (4-12 years)
There are no programs comparable to Girls on the Run. It is a unique curriculum because it incorporates physical activity to teach specific and well-defined social and individual skills. Research validates that the development of these skills prevents the future display of at-risk behaviors including early onset of sexual activity, disordered eating, depression, anxiety, substance abuse and confrontations with the juvenile justice system.
Our innovative curriculum integrates training for a 5K run/walk event with games and life lessons that foster growth in key areas. The program is delivered primarily at schools as an after-school program, but is also offered at various recreation and community centers. The program is delivered by trained, female, volunteer coaches who serve not only as training coaches and teachers, but also as mentors.
Girls on the Run sessions are offered in the fall or in the spring.
- Fall Season: Ten or Twelve-week program meeting twice a week from September to November
- Spring Season: Ten or Twelve-week program meeting twice a week from March to May
Each 10-12 week program is comprised of lesson plans developed on the basis of a "Whole Person Concept" - all the social, emotional, and physical aspects that comprise a healthy, well-balanced person. These lessons are informed by the work of Mario Fantini and Gerald Weinstein who found that there are three categories for problems expressed by pre- and early adolescent students. These categories are:
- Lack of identity
- Lack of connectedness
- Feelings of powerlessness
The Girls on the Run curricula is divided into three 3 to 4 week sessions that foster healthy growth in each of these three categories. More detail about the structure of the curriculum and/or specific lesson topics is available upon request.
Girls on the Run programs are offered through schools, recreation centers and health clubs as an after school extracurricular option. Each year approximately 50% of the Girls on the Run participants are underprivileged girls that receive scholarships through Girls on the Run of the Rockies to participate in the program.
Conclusions from a 2017 Longitudinal Study were as follows:
1. Collectively, findings using a matched comparison group, a longitudinal design, and quantitative and qualitative methods provide strong evidence that Girls on the Run is effective in promoting positive youth development, including season-long and lasting change in competence, confidence, connection, character, caring, physical activity, and life skills.
2. Ability to transfer life skills learned in GOTR distinguished participants from the comparison group, demonstrating that strategies such as those for managing emotions, resolving conflict, helping others, and making intentional decisions are optimized when they are explicitly taught.
3. The intentional life skills curriculum and coach training program offer strong explanations for findings of program impact-running and life lessons are integrated and taught concurrently by caring and compassionate coaches who are trained to deliver the curriculum with fidelity.
In addition to the evaluation, we feel our program site retention speaks to the success of the program. Ninety percent of our program sites have offered the program for more than one season.