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Girls on the Run: Empowering Girls for the Future

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All girls are powerful, intelligent and capable of doing anything they set their mind to. Unfortunately, social pressures and conflicting messages about how girls should act and who they should be exist. According to recent studies, these pressures cause girls’ confidence levels to drop two times more than that of boys by adolescence. These alarming statistics are why girls need Girls on the Run now more than ever. 

Girls on the Run is a nonprofit organization that uses a physical activity-based program to provide girls in third through eighth grade with the proper tools and skills to be joyful, healthy and confident. To accomplish this goal, Girls on the Run uses an eight-week curriculum containing research-based lessons that incorporate accessible physical activity. Throughout the eight weeks, girls are taught intentional life skills and mental health education, all while creating a positive relationship with physical fitness. At the end of each season, the girls complete a non-competitive 5K to celebrate their hard work and dedication. 

Since 2012, Girls on the Run Serving Greater Kansas City has been a part of elementary schools, middle schools and community centers across 18 counties in Kansas and Missouri. With that reach, Girls on the Run has served more than 32,000 girls and counting.

Each Girls on the Run team is led by volunteer coaches who are positive, enthusiastic and committed to empowering girls with valuable life lessons. Coaches follow Girls on the Run’s curriculum and guide girls through three distinct stages of programs: girls learn to recognize their personal strengths, navigate relationships and a team environment and understand their individual and collective roles in their community. Girls on the Run coaches create safe and welcoming environments for girls to embrace change and growth. One of the program’s goals is to help each girl develop an individual connection between mind and body through their own perspectives, beliefs and experiences. 

The addition of engaging running games and physical activity to each lesson helps girls develop a lifetime appreciation for fitness and healthy habits. It is also a large factor in the lasting impact Girls on the Run has on girls’ self-confidence, character and relationships. It creates a pathway for physical activity to be a healthy outlet in times of stress and frustration. As the 5K approaches toward the end of the season, each girl has gone through training, both physically and mentally. Once girls complete the race, they are shown that they can accomplish any goal they set their minds to.

Visit for more information or to volunteer.

By: Emily Imo