As students prepare to head back to school, many parents are looking for afterschool activities that provide a safe and structured space to learn skills and be physically active. That’s where Girls on the Run of NOVA comes in.
Maureen R. Weiss, Ph.D, a leading expert on youth development, recently conducted an independent study on Girls on the Run programs across the country. It found 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. It also showed that the program’s combination of a physical activity, research-based curriculum, trained volunteer coaches, and a strong commitment to serve all girls resulted in these key findings:
97 percent of girls said they learned critical life skills at Girls on the Run that they are using at home, at school and with their friends.
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 on the Run participants were significantly more likely to learn and use life skills, including managing emotions, resolving conflict, helping others and making intentional decisions than girls who participated in physical education or organized sports programs without a curriculum.
Girls who were the least active before Girls on the Run increased their physical-activity level by 40 percent from preseason to postseason and maintained this increased level beyond the program’s end.
“It’s more than just a running program,” said Katey Comerford, executive director for GOTR NOVA. “The goal of our program is to help girls unleash confidence through accomplishment while developing the physical, social and emotional skills needed to achieve.”
Girls on the Run is currently in 93 local elementary schools – including Bonnie
Brae, Daniels Run, Greenbriar East, Laurel Hill, Little Run, Lorton Station, Waples Mill and Westbriar – with fall registration starting Aug. 21. For more information, go to www.gotrnova.org.