The mission of Girls on the Run Heart of Kansas locally is to positively impact girls across the Sedgwick, Harvey, Reno, Marion and Butler County communities through our unique program that combines health and wellness education with a goal-oriented running program. Our goal is to prepare and educate girls for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living during their critical years of development (ages 8-14). The program is designed to empower young girls to believe in themselves and embrace their full potential as they become young adults. We are a non-profit organization supported by the community that is financially responsible to ensure long-term growth and sustainability.
GOTR is a 10-week program that incorporates training for a 5k (3.1 mile) event as a means to teach essential life skills to 3rd – 8th grade girls. There are two seasons (fall and spring) in which the program occurs. Each of the 20 lessons in the research-based curriculum stresses the importance of developing the emotional, mental, social, spiritual and physical parts of the individual to create a well-balanced, healthy person. The lessons are designed to encourage independent thinking, problem solving and team and community building. The program culminates with a 5k event, which provides the opportunity for the girls to achieve their goal and celebrate their accomplishment.
We strive for each girl to:
- Have a stronger sense of identity
- Learn to stand up for herself in a healthy manner
- Give and receive support in a peer group
- Develop an improved body image
- Understand their importance in the community
- Build healthy habits
- Complete a 5k event
Research validates that developing these skills prevents the future display of at-risk behaviors including early onset of sexual activity, disordered eating, depression, suicide attempts, the occurrence of substance/alcohol abuse and childhood obesity.
Girls on the Run is much more than the program. It is a philosophy. It not only impacts the girls who participate in the program, but also the volunteer coaches who deliver it and the many community members who support our program and mission. This helps to provide an environment for all girls and women that nurtures, develops, and celebrates their strengths.