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 third to fifth-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.”
7 out of 10 girls who improved from pre-season to post-season sustained improvements in competence, confidence, connection, character, caring, or physical activity beyond the season’s end.
Girls who were the least active before Girls on the Run increased their physical activity level by 40 percent from pre-season to post-season and maintained this increased level beyond the program’s end.
Girls in Girls on the Run were significantly more likely than girls in physical education or organized sports programs to learn and use life skills, including managing emotions, resolving conflict, helping others and making intentional decisions.