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.
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
No! GOTR – Dayton is for EVERYONE — even those who don’t like to run. The program is non-competitive and focuses on developing healthy, positive self-images in the participants. Girls are encouraged to walk or run the laps during the workouts, and all girls progress at their own speed.
Anyone with a desire to work with girls of this age group, and who enjoys physical exercise are welcome to apply to be a volunteer coach. You just need to be able to cheer on the girls! Please see the coaching requirements for more information.
The Girls on the Run® program and curricula are designed specifically for 3rd-8th grade girls and research studies have been conducted which show positive results for a girls-only program. Girls on the Run International did attempt to pilot a “Boys on the Run” program several years ago, however, due to the curricula being specific to girls, the boys program was not successful. Girls on the Run International does not have the funds nor resources to put in the extensive research and development in to a boys program as we did for our all-girls program. Although there are no plans to start a Boys on the Run program, we encourage individuals or organizations who have the resources to dedicate to a similar boys’ program to do so.
Yes! The curricula are designed to be used over and over again, with girls new to the program and with girls repeating the program. We also know that what a child experiences and learns in Girls on the Run® as a third grader is quite different from what she learns as a fourth or fifth grader. With repetition the depths of learning and the ability of a girl to apply what she learns at each lesson is greater. Within GOTR, we alternate between two curriculum each year, so our girls experience similar topics with different games and activities from one year to the next. And with that experience from one year to the next, returning girls often naturally step into mentoring and leadership roles with the younger girls.
Often we are able to help a girl find an existing team to join if Girls on the Run® is not available at her school. Please contact us for assistance.
We are happy to place your child at a site if space allows.