Girls on the Run launches new curriculum



Meeting the needs of today's girls

Girls on the Run launches new curriculum


Girls on the Run International (GOTRI), a nationally recognized nonprofit that empowers young girls, has launched its new research-based curriculum intentionally designed to meet the needs of today's girls. Entitled Hello, Superstar!, the innovative curriculum helps girls build the confidence to be themselves through meaningful and engaging lessons and activities that keep them moving.

“Since 1996, we have been on a mission to empower girls to activate their limitless potential and boldly pursue their dreams," said Dr. Allison Riley, chief program officer of Girls on the Run International. “With the launch of Hello, Superstar!, we are delivering on that commitment with lessons uniquely designed to support this generation of girls who must navigate an increasingly complex world. We’ve refreshed our program to not only help girls face today’s pressures but to be joyful, healthy, and confident."


As the only physical activity-based, positive youth development program for girls in the United States with a research-based curriculum, trained coaches, and a commitment to serving all girls, Girls on the Run provides tools and teaches skills to enhance girls' physical, social, and emotional health. Numerous studies and reports have shown the decline in girls' mental health and physical activity levels over the last decade. In February 2023, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that three in five U.S. teen girls felt persistently sad or hopeless in 2021, the highest level reported in at least a decade. According to the CDC, only 24% of 6- to 17-year-olds participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.

“Despite these statistics, Girls on the Run offers a bright spot for girls,” added Riley. In May 2023, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy released a report about the vital connection between physical activity and mental health. In it, Dr. Murthy singled out Girls on the Run as a successful program for girls to learn life skills through engaging activities and lessons.


“Girls on the Run fulfills girls’ needs in a pivotal time of their development and creates an environment where every participant feels accepted and has the potential to shine,” said Senior Director of Program Development Katarina Corda, who oversaw the curriculum development. “Based on our research on what matters to coaches, girls, and families today, we created lessons to help participants get active, make friends, understand emotions, resolve conflicts, celebrate differences, embrace what makes us shine in our own way, and more.”

To shape the curriculum, the GOTRI programming team sought feedback from more than 2,000 participants, coaches, and caregivers from across the country. They also partnered with additional external experts in inclusion and positive youth development who reviewed the lessons at every stage of development.

Hello, Superstar! is the first of a three-part suite of curricula. The two additional curriculum versions are set to roll out over the next 18 months. The second version focuses on the confidence to do hard things, and the third is currently in development. These themes around confidence allow for a unique experience each season while reinforcing core Girls on the Run lessons on self-talk, emotions, communication, empathy, friendship, and teamwork through different lenses. The series encourages repeat participation, allowing for deeper learning and reinforcing the lessons’ long-term positive impact.

You can find the Hudson Valley's chapter here.

Photos: girlsontherun.org

Girls on the Run International (GOTRI) creates and offers after-school empowerment programs designed for 3rd- to 8th-grade girls. The national nonprofit helps participants recognize their inner strength, increase their level of physical activity, imagine their possibilities, and confidently stand up for themselves and others through the innovative integration of fun physical activities, life-skills lessons, and impactful community projects. The research-based curriculum led by trained volunteer coaches explores core topics relevant to 8- to 13-year-old girls, including understanding emotions, fostering friendships, expressing empathy, and standing up for themselves. The coaches create a sense of belonging for all participants, and the curriculum helps meet the vital needs of girls today. The program culminates in a community impact project and a celebratory 5K. Since it was founded in 1996, this national movement has served more than 2.25 million girls in all 50 states and Canada. Learn more at girlsontherun.org.


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