As mentioned above, Girls on the Run is more than a recreational program. We are part of an International program that requires us to pay for the curriculum and other copyrighted program materials. Also, unlike recreational sports our program uses games to emphasize and reinforce the lessons we teach. Most of these games have parts and pages that need to be replaced each season.
Girls on the Run is much more than a running program. Our program follows a set curriculum that has been tested and proven to “statistically improve girls’ self-esteem and body image.” The curriculum involves games and game pieces that reinforce the key concepts in each lesson so that the girls are exposed to and encouraged to actively participate in making the connection between what the lessons are teaching and the “real” life situations. Upon completion of the program girls not only have increased physical fitness, they are more confident and have a set of “tools” to deal with peer pressure and other issues of adolescence.
- Your daughter should wear comfortable clothes (i.e. t-shirts, sweatshirts, shorts, and sweats are the best options). Remember that most days the girls will be outside so they will need to dress appropriately and layering may be necessary.
- Girls need to wear socks and athletic shoes. If girls show up in sandals, flip-flops or other shoes that are not safe to run in she will be able to participate; however, she will not be able to run. Running barefoot is never allowed.
- A water bottle so that she can stay hydrated during the session.
- A positive, can-do attitude.
The community 5K is not a requirement; however, it is a HUGE accomplishment that all of the girls have trained during the season for and are able to complete. All girls complete an in-class 5K and are prepared for the community race. This is a great opportunity for family, friends, and other GOTRs to support and encourage each other in a celebration of what they have accomplished during the season.
We find that our teams are most effective with 8 to 15 girls. Much of the GOTR curriculum is designed to build team dynamics among the girls. Teams must have at least 8 girls in order for the activities in each lesson to be effective and yet we also need to ensure the size of the group is manageable for our coaches. Because we also want each girl to contribute to our conversations during each lesson, we are committed to keeping the groups to a reasonable size. If sites have more than 15 girls who want to join the program, they may be considered for multiple teams if space and resources allow. Generally, new groups are not added at the last minute due to the time needed to prepare for a group, train and screen coaches, etc.
Children’s bodies are well suited for endurance exercise, and numerous studies have shown that children show many positive physiological adaptations to endurance exercise training. The keys are gradual progression and common-sense adult supervision. If those conditions are met, running 3 miles is a reasonable goal for most young people.
-Russell R. Pate, Ph.D., Department of Exercise Science, University of South Carolina
Yes, financial aid is available for participants who are unable to pay the $150 fee. Qualifying criteria includes household income and number of people in the household.
The fee is $160 for every participant. The fee includes:
- lessons conducted by two certified GOTR Coaches
- a healthy snack at each practice
- lesson handouts and materials
- fun giveaway items from national sponsors
- an official Girls on the Run t-shirt
- GOTR 5K race registration
- end of season certificate and award
Studies show that girls between the ages of eight and twelve are still receptive to adult influence, while beginning to feel peer pressure. It is a period in our emotional and intellectual development when we become aware of and begin to recognize important life and relationship issues. In addition, learning to value physical activity early in life increases the likelihood of participants staying physically healthy into adulthood. Studies show that those who develop exercise habits by their teen years are most likely to maintain those habits for life. Regular, moderate exercise improves cardiovascular functioning, reduces the risk of developing breast cancer, osteoporosis and obesity and positively counters the effects of depression and anxiety.
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.
One girl put it this way, “I learned that I am the boss of my brain.” Helping girls take charge of their lives and define the future on their terms. You can also think of it as Can University—a place where girls learn that they can. No limits. No constraints. Only opportunities to be remarkable.