World Changers: Giva Salutes Girls on the Run

At Giva we search for organizations, large and small, that are doing a great job of changing the world around them for the better; and we are pleased to salute them here.

Girls on the Run

Girls on the Run, an international non-profit organization dedicated to teaching girls 3rd through 8th grade through a multifaceted curriculum positive self-esteem, how to maintain healthy relationships and the power they hold as both individuals and teams. Their community-based model provides mentor ship from volunteers, staff, family and schools meant to empower girls across the world to realize their limitless potential. Based on two core strategies for development, conversation-based lessons and running games, Girls on the Run establishes values and skills for maintaining healthy lifestyles that nourish one's mind, body and spirit. Culminating in a 5k running event at the end of each season, Girls on the Run teaches girls the necessity for self-care and self-worth in order to set and achieve goals. In a society that conditions us to be ever-striving, we may sometimes sacrifice our health and connection with the present to continue to maintain our busy, stressful lives. Teaching girls to value the body through which they experience and contribute to the world is essential for developing girls into healthy and happy female leaders with the ability and drive to positively impact our world at large.

Girls on the Run was founded in 1996 by Molly Barker, who discovered that a running program helped her to overcome her personal struggles and cope with the stress of her day-to-day life. By learning to respect and care for her body as an amazing vessel and the foundation of her life, Molly was inspired to teach this same focus on health to establish positive body image and self-esteem in girls at a young age. By shifting the focus off of the social pressures of physical beauty, Molly and the many local chapters throughout the world are now giving over 130,000 girls the mentor ship and tools necessary to navigate the challenges of the human experience.

The 20-lesson curriculum used by Girls on the Run is taught to girls in teams of 8-15. They offer 3rd-5th grade, and 6th-8th grade programs that include conversation about healthy body-image, fitness and personal growth. Programs teach girls to grow as individuals and how to build and maintain healthy relationships, as well as how to work as a team. Each 12-week program is led by staff and volunteers who teach girls healthy habits and an appreciation for fitness. The 5k run at the end of each season is meant to give girls a sense of achievement and a better understanding of how to set and achieve goals.

Girls on the Run offers opportunities to act as a coach, practice partner, planning and event-committee member, 5k volunteer, donor and so much more. To learn more about Girls on the Run and opportunities in your area, please visit

Girls on the Run