GIRLS ON THE RUN - DC

Rating: 4.8 stars   10 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth

Location: 1200 18th St NW, Suite 700 Washington DC 20036 USA

Mission: The mission of Girls on the Run-DC (GOTR-DC) is to provide preteen girls (grades 3-8) in Washington, DC with an innovative experiential learning program that pairs a proven character development curriculum with running instruction. The life skills curriculum equips girls with the information and empowerment they need to meet life’s pressing challenges: from peer pressure to bullying, body image to healthy relationships and healthy living. During each 10-week program (offered fall and spring) girls will develop and improve competence, build confidence in who they are, develop strength of character, respond to others and self with care and compassion, create positive connections with peers and adults, and make a meaningful contribution to community and society. The girls also set goals and challenge themselves physically as they prepare for a culminating 5K race, which takes place at Anacostia Park.

2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been involved with Girls on the Run for about two years now. I had first found out about the organization by the Northern Virginia branch. We use their same race course and had learned a lot about the race aspect but never the program. Once Girls on the Run DC moved into our office space, I quickly learned all about the program and wanted to know how I could get involved. I am now a coach at one of the GOTR-DC locations and am LOVING the experience. I never realized how much girls at this young age have to go through at school and with their friends until I was entrenched in the age group again. Its hard to believe you forget so quickly. I have been motivated and inspried by these girls that come out twice a week to RUN and learn more about themselves and how to react to the dangers of being a teenage girl. I have never run a 5k and cannot wait to run with my girls. What a great program and GREAT EXPERIENCE this has been for me!

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my running abilities as well as being a supportive adult and a good friend

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Make this more available to others

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Makes me feel worthy of helping

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Rating: 5 stars  

I am a current coach for GOTR-DC. I began coaching this past fall and have had nothing but a wonderful experience. The service this provides the girls, the modes, healthy lifestyle choices and enrichment is beyond words. My girls know the mission, and the big goal. Nothing beats seeing their faces on race day when they step over the finish line. They know they can achieve whatever they put their minds too!

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Watching my students grow in confidence and themselves.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Every girl/school should have this program.

Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

Girls on the Run makes a critically important difference in the lives of young girls and its work is truly commendable. My dear friend is a Girls on the Run coach and her stories have moved me to tears. Furthermore, I have watched her personally learn more about the importance of self-esteem (through her experience as a coach), and she's used the strength and perspective gained to inspire her friends and family - and it's helped in a major way! Girls on the Run doesn't just help its immediate participants - it has stakeholders it doesn't even know about.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

through my friend's personal stories and my work in the non-profit sector.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

None. Girls on the Run is a very impressive place

Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a GOTR coach for three years and I love it! The girls learn to be confident with who they are. The lessons and runs during practice teach important life skills. Running the 5 K at the end of the season is an amazing way to celebrate all that the girls have accomplished. I love watching the girls dye their hair, cheer each other on, and blot over the finish line. They are still smiling days after the race. Today I held practice and here are a few comments the girls made:
- I wrote my running goal in my journal, so it is serious. I need to accomplish it.
- The rubber bands from practice yesterday reminded me I was beautiful all day.
- You are five times beautiful.
I'm constantly hearing remarks like this from the girls. This program empowers them.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I teach fourth grade and coach the girls in grades 3-5 at my school. I love seeing the positive impact that GOTR has on my students that participate. I have noticed that by the end of the season the girls are more comfortable with their bodies, more willing to take risks, better at solving social problems, good at setting goals, and build stronger friendships. This is evident in the classroom, on the playground, and at practice.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

allow a more flexible practice schedule. I would also change the number of coaches required. We have four coaches on our team, which is not necessary.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

I love getting to know my students as a coach and not just in the classroom.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Rating: 5 stars  

I have 2 daughters. One has done GOTR and one is in the program now. I have found that both children have increased their awareness of both the importance of taking care of themselves physically as well as the respect and friendship due their peers covered in the curriculum. It is most noteworthy at the biannual 5K where their comradery with one another and their obvious pride at achieving the goal of completing the 5K is proof of the programs success (at least for me). GOTR is an essential tool in providing balance for young impressionable girls at a vulnerable period in their childhood.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Through the participation of my 2 daughters.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

increase its availability through all of Washington, DC

Rating: 5 stars  

I became involved with Girls on the Run DC when I moved to Washington DC almost 2 years. After helping out with the spring 2010 race, I was so inspired by the energy, enthusiasm, and empowerment of the organization that I wanted to help out more!

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in my daily life. The confidence, self-respect, and courage that this program gives to its girls transcends to all those who work with the organization as well. I am much stronger as a result of my involvement with Girls on the Run.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

if I had to make changes to this organization I would make sure that we had the means to deliver it in every school. This is such an essential program for young girls to develop into strong, kind, powerful women.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

N/A

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Rating: 5 stars  

Girls on the Run empowers girls to recognize, celebrate and achieve their personal best. GOTR instills the confidence needed to meet one's goals, and promotes a positive, healthy image that is critical for the longerm physical and emotional well-being of young people, in particular girls. It also creates a strong sense of community; the idea that while each individual crosses the finish line, the victory is not theirs alone, but one in which all of one's peers and coaches played a significant role through ongoing and active encouragement and support. GOTR is a positive force in a world of complicated and daunting messages about beauty, fitting in and being cool. The lessons learned will last a lifetime.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I am a runner and feel strongly that being physically fit contributes a great deal to personal happiness and success. Knowing that you can run a 5K race empowers you to tackle any challenge with enthusiasm, a bit of patience and, importantly, hard work. It also reinforces the importance of friendships and teammates. While running is an individual activity, it takes a lot of encouragement and support to stick with it.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Help it grow so that every young girl could have the opportunity to participate.

Rating: 4 stars  

GOTR is an amazing program which builds young girls' self-esteem and fosters healthy life choices through group discussions and running.

As a volunteer coach and parent of a GOTR participant, I see the workings of program from the inside and out. As a coach, I see the impact the program has on the girls on my team. Sure, there are those girls who are the front-of-the-pack runners who amaze me with their speed, but it is those girls for whom running is a real challenge that inspire me and show the power of the program.

For the first few practices, there was a core group of girls who did not believe they could run. They thought they were too slow and not good enough to keep up with the other girls. By practice #10, these girls, through their perseverance and self-confidence, ran more than they ever had in any practice. They finished with some physical discomfort from the run, but you would never know it from the elation and pride displayed on their faces. It was so great to see.

The icing on the cake was when I asked each girl to make a sign for herself - describing something she likes to do, is good at, or about herself. One girl drew a sign with three simple, yet powerful words - "I have confidence".

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

In each practice, I can see the growth and development of the girls. So great to observe.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More group-building exercises, less group discussion time

Rating: 4 stars  

We have so enjoyed Girls on the Run. It's been an amazing experience for our girls to learn independence, gain self confidence and get healthy outdoor exercise.

Kristen and the team at DC GOTR have been great to work with -- I am the site coordinator for Lafayette and have continually been impressed with their enthusiasm and high level of organization.

The parents and families involved are also very enthusiastic to have GOTR at Lafayette, the largest elementary school in DC. And we plan to continue to offer GOTR to our girls.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

watching the group of girls grow together in friendship and make huge strides in their respective abilities to run more and more laps! Some girls could not even complete one lap are now running a full mile!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Nothing comes to mind.

Rating: 5 stars  

My daughter was a participant in Girls on the Run in its early days in Washington, D.C. Despite that she is now too old for GotR, she comes out for every race; she and I usually serve as course marshals, standing somewhere in the "out back" part of the race course and directing the runners as they come by.
In recent races, she has taken to directing traffic for most of the race. When only the stragglers are still coming by, she finds a girl who is having a particularly hard time of it. She leaves her position and joins the struggling girl, often taking her by the hand. Thus encouraged, the girl finds the energy to get back in the race and make it the rest of the way; the two of them complete the race together.
I have seen with my own eyes what a difference GotR has made in the life of one girl in particular, and a number of others in passing (literally: they passed right by me). I'm on the board to see that it keeps doing that.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Washington, D.C.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

ensure full funding

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