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10 of Our Favorite Things That Happened in 2017

Posted Kenzie Kramer on 12/19/2017 |


It’s been quite a year for Girls on the Run! In 2017, we celebrated twenty one years since the start of our programs. Our 220 councils served over 200,000 girls across the United States with over 14,000 teams led by 53,000 remarkable volunteer coaches. There were many memorable moments in 2017 thanks to the awe-inspiring girls in our programs and the coaches and supporters who make Girls on the Run possible, but here are just a few that stick out:

We released the results of a ground-breaking study!

In 2017, we released the results of our first-ever national-level longitudinal study that measured the effectiveness of our Girls on the Run program. The results were remarkable! The findings show Girls on the Run has a positive impact on girls during the program and beyond, and makes a stronger impact than organized sports and school physical education in teaching life skills. In fact, an incredible eighty-five percent of girls improved in confidence, competence, caring, character or connection and girls who were least active at the start of the program increased in physical activity by more than forty percent. The intentional life skills curriculum and coach training program are key to our impact and are exemplars for other youth programs.


We teamed up with Target and Always #LikeaGirl!

This year, Target and Always #LikeaGirl announced they will be donating one million dollars to Girls on the Run! Nearly half of Girls on the Run participants require financial assistance to participate in our life-changing programs. This donation from Target and Always has helped remove barriers to participation and extend our programs to thousands more girls!


We also teamed up with Simone Biles!

To support the efforts of Target and Always #LikeAGirl and their commitment to Girls on the Run, Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles attended the Girls on the Run Houston 5K and gave medals to girls as they crossed the finish line! Simone also made a trip to Minneapolis where she spoke on a panel about empowerment with a group of girls from Girls on the Run Twin Cities.


We heard Emma’s inspiring story!

Justice, a national partner of Girls on the Run, shared the inspiring story of its Girls with Heart Ambassador Emma. Emma worked toward her goal of completing a 5K and doesn’t let her cerebral palsy hold her back or dull her Star Power! 


We introduced a new program!

Starting in 2018, Girls on the Run councils will be offering Camp GOTR, a week-long session that combines the best of Girls on the Run with the fun of camp! During each session, 3rd through 5th grade girls will build friendships, be physically active, and express creativity through art and crafts and storytelling. If you’re interested in bringing Camp GOTR to your community, reach out to your local Girls on the Run council

We gave back!

GOTR girls know you’re never too young to make a difference! Girls across the country worked together to decide who they wanted to help, come up with a way to give back, and implement their projects. Together, Girls on the Run teams completed over 10,000 Community Impact Projects this year! They made cards for people in hospitals, collected food for Thanksgiving dinners, spread positive messages throughout their schools, and more!


We were on ABC News!

In November, ABC World News Tonight with David Muir highlighted Girls on the Run and celebrated the accomplishments of girls across the country finishing their first 5K!


We were recognized as a top social-emotional learning program by Harvard University!

A Social-Emotional learning guide developed by researchers at Harvard University and funded by the Wallace Foundation included Girls on the Run as a top research-based program. We were one of only three out-of-school time programs featured in the guide – what an honor!


We shared our stories!

In 2017, we teamed up with Say it Forward to encourage girls and women to share their stories about challenges, accomplishments, and anything else they wanted to write about! We loved hearing from coaches, GOTR girls and supporters and were inspired by the remarkable women who submitted their stories.  


We were recognized as “Most Influential”!

Girls on the Run was named one of the “Most Influential in Health and Wellness” by the National AfterSchool Association for our service to the afterschool community and impact on the health and wellness of girls.  


While 2017 was a year of remarkable impact and memorable moments, there is still much work to be done to achieve our vision of a world where ALL girls can know and activate their limitless potential and be free to boldly pursue their dreams. In 2018, we will continue to focus our attention on providing a quality experience for participants and volunteers and work to ensure all girls have access to our life-changing programs. We have BIG goals ahead of us and can’t do it without your help! You can help support our programs and the limitless potential of girls by making a gift to Girls on the Run today!


Header Photo by Adam​ Hymans


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