Girls on the Run Program

Girls on the Run is a physical activity-based positive youth development program designed specifically for girls in grades 3, 4 and 5. The innovative, research-based curricula include workouts and games that teach important life skills while preparing the girls for a 5k. Girls are challenged to reach personal goals regardless of fitness level. Each Girls on the Run team consists of 8-17 girls and two trained coaches, which provides positive peer group experiences as well as role models for healthy living. 

Curricula Structure

Each curriculum is divided into three sections.

The first section focuses on self-care, self-awareness and knowing self. During weeks one through four of the ten-week program, the curriculum provides participants with opportunities to:
  • Gain an understanding of themselves
  • Identify their own individual strengths and abilities while setting personal goals
  • Explore the importance of being physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy
  • Examine their own core values and what makes them unique
The second section focuses on connectedness. During weeks five through seven, program participants will learn about selecting healthy relationships and keeping them healthy. The curriculum provides participants with opportunities to:
  • Explore getting along within a group
  • Learn active listening and confrontation/assertiveness skills
  • Recognize the importance of “positivism” in standing up for one’s self
  • Examine the components of good decision-making skills
The third section focuses on empowerment. During the final three weeks of the ten-week program, program participants will have the opportunity to celebrate and share their strengths as well as the strengths of their teammates. The curriculum provides the participants with opportunities to:
  • Explore their responsibility to the community
  • Analyze the cultural and social messages girls receive in the media and other institutions
  • Examine their own stereotyping and discriminatory behavior
  • Define community and their collective and individual roles in it
  • Create and implement a community project
  • Be empowered to change their environment in a positive manner.
Each lesson is divided into activities with specific functions to enhance the learning process, and are structured as follows:
  • Getting on Board and Warm-Up Activity – brings the girls’ focus to the day’s lesson topic and usually is a short game to get the girls’ cardio-respiratory systems warmed up
  • Processing and Stretching – an opportunity to stretch after the warm-up and provide a question and answer session about the topic to help the girls make connections and apply them to their lives
  • Workout – running workouts, games, and activities that utilize a personal and/or team goal to keep the physical activity fun
  • Processing, Cool-down and Stretching – review and discussion of the day’s lesson
  • Wrap-Up – closes with positive words from the coaches about individual and group behaviors


Girls on the Run Lesson Topics