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As students prepare to head back to school, many parents are looking for after-school activities that provide a safe and structured space where children can learn skills and be physically active. Girls on the Run offers this and so much more.
A recent independent study provides compelling evidence that Girls on the Run is highly effective at driving transformative and lasting change in the lives of 3rd-6th grade girls. The program’s intentional curriculum places an emphasis on developing competence, confidence, connection, character, caring, and contribution in young girls through lessons that incorporate running and other physical activities. Throughout the course of the ten-week program, girls learn critical life skills including managing emotions, resolving conflict, helping others and making intentional decisions. It is the combination of the research-based curriculum, trained coaches and a commitment to serve all girls that sets Girls on the Run apart from other after-school programs.
The independent study was conducted by Maureen R. Weiss, Ph.D, a leading expert on youth development. “Girls on the Run participants scored higher in managing emotions, resolving conflict, helping others, and making intentional decisions than participants in organized sport or physical education,” confirms Weiss. “Being able to generalize skills learned in the program to other situations such as at school or at home is a distinguishing feature of Girls on the Run compared to traditional youth sports and school physical education, and suggests that the intentional life skills curriculum and coach-training program can serve as exemplars for other youth programs.”
Key study results
“We’ve always known that Girls on the Run is a life-changing program from watching our girls as they grow through the season and hearing from our parents and coaches,” said Esther Baker, executive director of Girls on the Run of Eastern Iowa. “Now we have powerful evidence that Girls on the Run delivers on its mission to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident. These findings show that participation in Girls on the Run has a lasting, positive impact on girls.”