Mission & History

Our Mission

We inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum that creatively integrates running.

Meeting twice a week after-school in small teams of 15 girls, we teach life skills through fun, engaging lessons that celebrate the joy of movement. The 20-lesson curriculum is taught by certified Girls on the Run® coaches and includes three parts: understanding ourselves, valuing relationships and teamwork and understanding how we connect with and shape the world at large. Over the course of the program, girls will develop and improve competence, feel confidence in who they are, develop strength of character, respond to others and oneself with care and compassion, create positive connections with peers and adults, and make a meaningful contribution to community and society.

Our Vision

We envision a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams.

Girls on the Run believes that all girls and communities should have access to our programs. We strive to eliminate barriers to participation, to continue creating programming that engages all communities, to be intentional about staff and volunteer diversity, and to promote a culture of inclusion across the organization.

Click here to read the full Access & Inclusion Statement.

Our History

Girls on the Run® was established in 1996 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Girls on the Run® curricula, the heart of the program, provides pre-adolescent girls with the necessary tools to embrace their individual strengths and successfully navigate life experiences. The earliest version of the 24­ lesson curriculum was piloted in 1996 with the help of thirteen brave girls. Twenty-six girls came the next season, then seventy-five. In 2000, Girls on the Run International, a 501c3 organization was born.

With the help of over 120,000 volunteers, the Girls on the Run program is now serving over 168,000 girls in 225+ cities across North America each year. In 2014, Girls on the Run hosted 333 end-of-season 5k events across the United States and Canada. Girls on the Run has been featured in many media outlets including People, Runner’s World, Redbook, Women’s Day, O Magazine, Fitness Magazine, Women’s Running, Self Magazine, Glamour, Shape, Marie Claire, Parenting, Running Times, CNN, MSNBC, ABC News, NBC News, NPR and ESPN.

The Rhode Island Council of Girls on the Run was founded in the spring of 2012 with a small but passionate group of women. They started with just two sites with 30 girls. The organization is now serving over 500 girls each year through state-wide sites held at schools, community centers, and service agencies.

The true success of the program, however, is not told in the numbers, but rather in the words of the girls who participate. “Girls on the Run made me realize that I am the boss of my brain.” “I know that whatever I set my mind to do, I can do.”  “At Girls on the Run I learned how to be comfortable in my own skin!”

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