Girls on the Run Puget Sound Programs
Our program specifically improves health and fitness outcomes for girls, addresses issues not covered in school curricula and helps some girls develop more appropriate social behavior. Parents and educators tell us that they notice a positive difference in girls who complete the program. The timeliness of educating girls before they enter upper level grades can make a huge difference when they encounter difficult choices and make important decisions that will affect their future during those crucial years.
Our program is a unique blend of life lessons in subjects such as bullying, cooperation with others, nutrition, values, positive and negative media messages that girls receive every day with a program for physical fitness. Girls learn how to think "out of the girl box" by making decisions and holding true to their own unique beliefs, values and goals. Nearly 100% of the participants complete the Girls on the Run 5K Run/Walk at the culmination of our 10-week program. Volunteer coaches and Running Buddies along with others in the community run and cheer them on to accomplish their goal.
Our curriculum and program, Girls on the Run, was developed by Molly Barker, MSW and four-time Hawaii Ironman triathlete. Using her expertise in counseling and teaching along with research on adolescent issues, she founded Girls on the Run® in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1999. Today over 200 councils operate in North America. Girls on the Run Puget Sound aims to serve all girls, and our potential to serve the public school population alone is tremendous. GOTRPS serves girls third through fifth grade in King County, and by our estimates we are annually reaching less than five percent of them.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
In the past four years we have increased the number of participants in our program from 170 to over 950 girls. This is important as community and school programs are on the chopping block due to decreases in funding. We have identified a number of under-served communities to target for proactive outreach to establish sites and support their development over several seasons.
In addition to general support, we need school champions to financially support and provide volunteers for specific schools in under-served communities participating in our Girls on the Run program.