"Girls on the Run is the only national, physical activity-based, positive youth development program for girls with compelling evidence of program impact."
The Girls on the Run philosophy is to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.
Established in 1996 in Charlotte, North Carolina by Ironman triathlete Molly Barker, Girls on the Run began with 13 girls in one school and has grown to more than 200 councils in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. GOTR of Middle Tennessee is an independent council of Girls on the Run International, celebrating its 11th year serving Davidson, Montgomery, Rutherford, Sumner and Williamson counties. GOTR believes that every girl is inherently full of power and potential. By knowing they are the leaders of their lives, these are the girls who will change the world.
"Our small office of three will serve 600 girls this year, and 60% of them will require financial assistance to participate," says Tiffany Patton, GOTR of Middle Tennessee executive director. "Our goal is to remove barriers so they can truly reach their limitless potential."
Tiffany lists the organization's core values:
- Recognize our power and responsibility to be intentional in our decision making.
- Embrace our differences and find strength in our connectedness.
- Express joy, optimism and gratitude through our words, thoughts and actions.
- Lead with an open heart and assume positive intent.
- Nurture our physical, emotional and spiritual health.
- Stand up for ourselves and others.
“Last year, I raced the New York City Marathon on behalf of Girls on the Run,” says Jessica Leonard, board member and NYC Marathon runner/Ironwoman. “If you think any part of me will stop wanting to empower young girls in my community, think again. I will continue to be involved!”
GOTR offers scholarships based on family income and will not turn any girl away. GOTR hosts more than 350 end-of-season 5K events across the United States, making its Run 5K series the largest in the country.
Girls on the Run (grades three through five)
It encourages girls to recognize their individual strengths and celebrate connections with others.
Heart and Sole (grades six through eight)
Running is incorporated into each lesson to encourage physical wellness and teach life skills such as team building and creating a support system.
High School (grades nine through 12 and beyond)
GOTR encourages and appreciates students at this level to become involved as volunteers and coaches.