The curriculum is divided into three parts:
- The first eight lessons are centered on the girls getting to know themselves–examining their values, their likes and dislikes, and who they envision themselves to be. As the girls get to know themselves, they are also sharing with each other. Lesson topics and learning goals include “fueling our healthy pace,” “centering: the importance of slowing down,” and “celebrating gratitude.”
- The next eight lessons concentrate on team building, being supportive, learning to listen and cooperate, etc. Lesson topics and learning goals include “standing up to peer pressure,” “gossiping hurts everyone,” and “it’s okay to choose my friends.”
- The last eight lessons relate to the world at large. This includes making a contribution to your community and learning to recognize and deal with the negative messages we often receive from the world (media awareness, negative peer pressure, etc.) Lesson topics and learning goals include: “learning about community,” “tuning into a new message (media literacy),” and the development and implementation of a group community project.
The 24 lessons conclude with the opportunity to participate in a 5k event.
Each of the twenty four Girls on the Run® sessions adheres to a formal structure that combines physical activities with experiential learning activities.
Every session begins with a getting-on-board and warm-up activity that brings the girls’ focus to the lesson topic. The warm-up is followed by a stretching routine that allows for question and answer time and deeper discussions around the topic. A work-out game follows, where the girls participate in a variety of running activities that incorporate individual or team goals. This is followed by a wrap-up that includes cool-down stretching and final discussion. Each session closes with positive words from the team coach regarding individual and group behaviors.