Heart & Sole is Girls on the Run’s middle school program that meets the unique needs of girls in 6th -8 th grade. The program considers the whole girl - body, brain, heart, spirit and social connection - in a positive, structured space where girls can learn about themselves, explore new ideas, cultivate empathy and strengthen connections. Running is incorporated into each lesson to encourage physical wellness and teach life skills such as team building, creating a support system, standing up for themselves and others and decision making. The girls prepare for a celebratory Girls on the Run 5k event at the end of the program. This non-competitive event fosters goal setting and a sense of confidence through accomplishment to last a lifetime.
The principal philosophy behind both programs is the same, yet the depth of processing varies in order to be age appropriate. The Heart & Sole middle school curriculum allows for more mature processing around certain topics including eating disorders, internet safety, cyber bullying and tobacco and alcohol use.
Today's middle-school girls face many challenges and obstacles that can affect their emotional and physical well-being. The Girls on Track curriculum is designed to address these challenges by empowering them to make thoughtful and healthy decisions. Like Girls on the Run, the Girls on Track curriculum is delivered over the course of 10 to 12 weeks and addresses the societal, mental and emotional challenges particular to their age.
Like the Girls on the Run curricula, we begin by encouraging the girls to examine and better understand who they are and what's important to them. Once they have a deeper awareness of their individual values, we look at the role of teams and healthy relationships. Lastly, the girls explore how they can positively connect with and shape the world.
The curriculum allows for more mature processing around certain topics including eating disorders, internet safety, relationships, cyber-bullying and tobacco and alcohol use. The girls discuss these subjects on an in-depth level and use their personal experiences to shape thought-provoking discussion. The Girls on Track curriculum provides girls with the skills to shut out the noise of the external world that is attempting to limit who she is and to instead listen to her individual truth – the one that will lead her toward an enriching and contented life.
Running is also incorporated into the curriculum. We use physical activity to inspire and motivate girls throughout the program, to encourage lifelong health and fitness, and most importantly, to build confidence through accomplishment. At the end of each season, the girls and their running buddies complete a 5k running event which gives the girls a tangible sense of achievement as well as a framework for setting and achieving life goals. This culminating celebratory 5k event is a transformative moment when the girls realize that even the seemingly impossible IS possible.