The Girls on the Run curriculum incorporates training for a 5K event with lessons that inspire third through fifth grade girls to develop essential life skills. The curriculum is divided into three parts that foster healthy growth in each of these areas.
The first part provides participants with opportunities to examine their own core values and ascertain what makes them unique, learn about their individual strengths while setting personal goals and explore the importance of being physically and emotionally healthy.
The second part provides opportunities to explore getting along within a group, learn active listening and assertiveness skills, recognize the importance of managing conflict with others and examine the components of good decision-making skills.
The final part provides participants with opportunities to explore their responsibility to the community, analyze cultural messages girls receive from the media and other institutions, define community and their collective and individual roles in it and to recognize the power they have to change the world in a positive way by implementing a community impact project.
There are currently no comparable programs to Girls on the Run. The program is designed for 8-11 year old girls because children of this age are still receptive to what adults have to say yet they are beginning to feel the pull of peer pressure. These formative years are the perfect time to address important issues and develop skills.
The program has been evaluated by Rita DeBate, Ph.D., MPH, CHES since 2001. Evaluation results are posted on the National website, www.girlsontherun.org.