Girls on the Run is a life-changing, experiential learning program for girls age 8- to 13-years-old. The programs combine training for a 3.1 mile running event with self-esteem enhancing and uplifting workouts.
The goal of the program is to encourage positive emotional, social, mental, spiritual and physical development.
The objective of Girls on the Run is to educate and empower girls at an early age in order to prevent the display of at-risk activities in the future. At risk activities include substance and alcohol use, eating disorders, early onset of sexual activity, sedentary lifestyle, depression, suicide attempts and confrontations with the juvenile justice system.
Girls on the Run is a 501(c)3 positive youth development program which combines an interactive curriculum and running to inspire self-respect and healthy lifestyles in pre-teen girls.
Its core curriculum addresses many aspects of girls’ development — their physical, emotional, mental and social well-being. These lessons provide young girls with the tools to make positive decisions and to avoid risky adolescent behaviors.
Girls on the Run boasts two programs—Girls on the Run for 3rd-5th graders and Girls on Track for 6th-8th graders.
According to its website, “The psychological research and principal philosophy behind both programs is the same, yet the depth of processing varies in order to be age appropriate.”
The Girls on Track middle school curriculum allows for more mature processing around certain topics including eating disorders, Internet safety, cyber bullying, and tobacco and alcohol use.
The curriculum is easy to follow, simple and provides positive results. Divided into three parts, the first eight lessons are centered on the girls getting to know themselves — examining their values, their likes and dislikes, and who they envision themselves to be. As the girls get to know themselves, they also share and learn from each other.
The next eight lessons concentrate on team building, being supportive, learning to listen and being cooperative with their peers. Lesson topics and learning goals include standing up to peer pressure, the negative impact of gossip and how to choose friends wisely.
The last eight lessons relate to the world on a practical level. This includes making a contribution to the community and learning to recognize and deal with the negative messages we often receive from the world such as peer pressure, inappropriate media images and messages. Lesson topics and learning goals include learning about community, tuning into new messages while weeding out the bad and the development and implementation of a group community project.
Girls on the Run sessions are offered in the fall or in the spring with groups throughout the Bay Area. If you are unable to locate a Girls on the Run in you immediate neighborhood, consider starting one and give a young girl a chance to experience a lifetime of respect and healthy living.
For more information on the Los Gatos, Campbell, Cupertino and Gilroy chapters, visit Girls on the Run.