How is Girls on the Run different from other recreational programs?
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 games pieces that reinforce the key concepts in each day’s lesson so that girls are exposed to and encouraged to actively participate in making the connection between what the lessons are teaching and “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.
What if my daughter is not a “runner” or does not like running?
The name “Girls on the Run” can be deceiving. Girls on the Run is about trying your best, whether you are walking, jogging or running. Our program is completely non-competitive and designed for girls of ALL fitness levels. Girls are encouraged to continue moving through the games that reinforce the topic being discussed for the day. We provide an encouraging atmosphere where girls can feel comfortable just being themselves and going “their” speed.
How old does my daughter have to be to participate?
Girls need to be between the ages of 8 and 14 years old and in 3rd through 8th grade. Our Girls on the Run curriculum serves girls in grades 3 through 5 (or 6, depending on location) and our Girls on Track curriculum serves girls in middle school, typically grades 6 through 8 (7 and 8, depending on location).
How much does it cost?
The program registration fee for Girls on the Run is $125.
What does the program fee include?
At a minimum, the program registration fee includes the following:
- 20-24 lessons (depending on season) conducted by a minimum of two certified GOTR coaches
- all lesson supplies and materials
- an official GOTR t-shirt
- a water bottle OR other incentives
- participation in the GOTR season-culminating 5K event
- an end-of season team celebration
What if a girl is unable to pay the registration fee?
Girls on the Run turns no girl away from our program due to financial reasons. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, we have scholarships available for those whose annual household income is below $50,000. Please call the office at 908-328-1208 or email us to request a scholarship application. Those interested in sponsoring participants in our program can learn more by downloading the Sponsorship Opportunities brochure located on our Sponsors page.
Who are the GOTR coaches?
All Girls on the Run coaches are volunteers that have been certified to coach and deliver the GOTR program to your daughters. Certification includes an application and reference check; state and federal criminal background check conducted every two years; participation in a comprehensive new coach or returning coach training workshop; and in the case of head coaches, CPR and First Aid certification. Our coaches include school faculty, parents, and community members who are dedicated to encouraging and mentoring your girls.
Can my daughter participate at a school that she doesn’t attend?
At all programs conducted at our schools, first priority for enrollment is provided to the girls enrolled at those schools. However, if the site is not filled one week prior to the season start date, enrollment will be open to girls from outside the school, as long as she has transportation and can arrive to lessons on time.
My daughter has a conflict on one of the meeting days and will miss several lessons. Can she still enroll?
Girls on the Run requires that all participants commit to attending at least 80% of all scheduled lessons. The lessons in our curriculum build off one another, and the greatest benefit to the individual participant is gained through routine participation in those lessons. Team synergy and positive relationship building is also a key element of our program. Therefore, routine attendance by all participants is critical to a successful team experience. Finally, space on our teams is limited, and out of fairness to all interested participants, it’s important that those spots be given to girls who will regularly and actively participate in the program.
How do I start a program in my daughter’s school?
Starting a program is easy! Please refer to our “Start-a-Site” page for information on launching a program at your school or in your community.
Can my daughter repeat the program?
Absolutely, yes!! We have many girls who eagerly repeat the program. Our Girls on the Run program alternates between two separate curricula that compliment one another but provide different games and discussions on similar topics. We know that what a child experiences and learns in Girls on the Run as a 3rd grader is quite different from what she learns as a 4th, 5th, or even 6th grader. Research also shows that, with repetition, the depths of learning and the ability of a child to apply what she learns at each lesson grows. Additionally, because the group dynamics change with each new group every season, the discussions and experiences that are shared differ, thus offering new points of view. Finally, we are always excited to see how our returning girls naturally assume mentoring and leadership roles among their new teammates.
How many times is the program offered during the year?
At many locations, Girls on the Run and Girls on Track is offered twice a year. Please consult the Locations and Program Registration pages of our website during and preceding our registration periods for complete program offerings. Our spring season runs from mid-March through the early-June, and the fall season runs from mid-September through early-December. Please note that these are two separate seasons, so girls need to register for each season.
Why is the number of participants limited?
We find that our teams are most effective with 8 to 15 girls. Much of the GOTR curriculum is designed to build team synergy. Teams must have at least 8 girls in order for the activities in each lesson to be effective. Because Girls on the Run is based on the discussions and processing of the information, we must also limit the size of groups so that there is ample time for all girls to participate. This also ensures that the group is more manageable for our coaches.
When are registrations accepted?
Enrollment opens approximately 6 weeks prior to the season start, and registrations are accepted until a site is full or until the end of the second week of the program, whichever comes first.
What should my daughter wear and bring to the sessions?
Your daughter should wear comfortable, weather appropriate clothing (t-shirts, sweatshirts, shorts, and sweats are the best options). Remember that the girls will generally be outside, so they will need to dress appropriately, and layering may be necessary. She must also wear socks and athletic shoes. If a girl show up in sandals, flip-flops or other shoes that are not safe for running, she will be able to participate in discussions, but will not be allowed to run. We also ask that each girl arrive with a filled water bottle and a positive, can-do attitude!
Can I observe/help my daughter’s group?
You are welcome to observe the group from a distance. However, no adults will be allowed to participate with the group, help out, or have close contact with the girls unless they have been certified to coach or participate with the group as an official running buddy. Coaches will be available after the first session to meet you and answer any questions. We are committed to our participants and their safety, so if you ever have any questions or concerns, you may always call the Girls on the Run office at 908-328-1208 and speak with the director.