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Girls on the Run of Central Virginia

www.girlsontherun.org

Mission: The mission of Girls in the Run is to inspire them to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.

Community Need: Girls on the Run is the only national physical-activity based positive youth development program for girls with compelling evidence of program impact. An independent study conducted by the University of Minnesota, provides strong evidence that Girls on the Run is effective in promoting positive youth development, including season-long and lasting change in competence, confidence, connection, character, caring, physical activity, and life skills. Furthermore, it found that Girls on the Run makes a stronger impact than organized sports and physical education programs in teaching life skills, demonstrating that strategies such as those for managing emotions, resolving conflict, helping others, & making intentional decisions are optimized when they are explicitly taught.

The organization is committed to serving diverse populations and supports roughly half of its participants with financial assistance in the form of program scholarships. In Central Virginia, they served over 7700 girls in the past 12 years. Their goal is to continue to provide this program to any girl wishing to participate regardless of ability to pay the fee.

Constituents Served: Girls on the Run serves over 200,000 girls annually in all 50 states. The Girls on the Run program is designed for girls in grades 3-5.  The Heart & Sole program is designed for girls in grades 6-8.  Girls on the Run of Central Virginia serves 15 counties, including Augusta County, and seven cities, including Staunton and Waynesboro.  Last year 936 girls participated in the Girls on the Run program and 72 participated in Heart & Sole.

Primary Activities: Girls on the Run is a physical activity-based positive youth development (PA-PYD) program designed to enhance girls’ social, psychological and physical skills and behaviors to successfully navigate life experiences. Caring and competent coaches, trained to teach lessons as intended, deliver the life-skills curriculum. Girls on the Run uses running and other physical activities as a platform for teaching life skills and promoting holistic health outcomes for girls.  The curriculum includes lessons relevant for 8-13-year-old girls. Before the season, volunteer coaches participate in a National Coach Training Program, which prepares them to build relationships with girls, create a positive, inclusive environment, support individual improvement, and deliver the intentional curriculum.

Girls learn critical life skills such as how to manage emotions, help others, make intentional decisions, and resolve conflict.  The program inspires girls to build lives of purpose and to make a meaningful contribution to community and society. This comes to life through a key element of the curricula when each team creates and executes a community service project. The season concludes with a celebratory 5K event. Completing a 5K gives the girls a tangible sense of achievement as well as a framework for setting and achieving life goals.  Girls on the Run is dedicated to creating a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams.

Amount Requested: $10,000

Operating Budget: $203,645

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