What is Girls on the Run of Pamlico County?

Girls on the Run of Pamlico County is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping  girls in grades 3 through 5 learn to make healthy choices now and during the challenging years of adolescence. Our afterschool programs offer a positive, nurturing experience that encourages hopes and dreams and big ideas. We follow a research-based curriculum that combines training for a 5K Fun Run with health education, life skills development, mentoring relationships, and physical training.

What is Girls on the Run?

Girls on the Run for 3rd-5th graders is an afterschool program designed to build self-confidence. Girls can register for the Fall or Spring Season. The girls meet twice a week for 10 weeks. Each session is filled with fun activities to develop running and life skills.

How Will My Daughter Benefit?

  • Personal Benefits – our programs focus on building self-esteem and self-respect. Each girl has many opportunities to explore who she is and who she wants to be. The lessons on knowing yourself help each girl find and stay true to her REAL self.
  • Social Benefits – team building games actively promote and reward cooperation and respect for others. The group experience provides an alternative to the intense “best-friend” social life typical of girls this age. The girls learn and practice strategies for coping with peer-pressure, gossip, and bullying.
  • Physical Benefits – the girls actually experience the benefits of being healthy and active because at least 1 hour of the 1½ hour session is devoted to active games, running and walking. Girls come into the program at various fitness levels. Through practice and motivation, they gradually develop the confidence, stamina and determination to participate successfully in the concluding 5K Fun Run/Walk.

What Do Girls Love About the Program?

  • Age-appropriate activities and topics that are FUN!
  • Positive reinforcement cheers called Energy Awards
  • Being active
  • Being in an all-girl group

Why Start With Girls in Grades 3 through 5?

Between the ages of 8 and 11 girls are already beginning to feel social and peer pressure, yet they are still receptive to what adults have to say. Studies show that around 5th grade, girls begin to become focused on appearance and popularity. Being a successful girl seems to be more about having the right look, being in the right group, and attracting the attention of boys than about individuality and strength of character. Girls on the Run offers an opportunity to develop individual strengths while exploring personal and relationship issues. Our games and activities help girls learn how to express and manage emotions, how and when to speak up effectively, and how to say no to peer pressure temptations. See Parents’ Page for the complete list of Lesson Topics.

Is Girls on the Run a Sports Program?

No. We offer a non-competitive youth-development program that combines life skills and character development with physical activities that include running, walking, and active games that teach and reinforce the lesson topics. The goal is not fitness or physical skills. The goal is to increase confidence, self-esteem and ability to cooperate with other girls in the group.

So what does Girls on the Run do?

One girl put it this way, “I learned that I am the boss of my brain.” Girls on the Run inspires girls to take charge of their lives and define the future on their terms. It’s a place where girls learn that they can. No limits. No constraints. Only opportunities to be remarkable.

How do we do it?

Lots of ways, but we start with helping the girls get a better understanding of who they are and what’s important to them. Then we look at the role of teams and healthy relationships. And, finally, we explore how girls can positively connect with and shape the world.
And remember, we believe that life-changing experiences can be fun too—for everyone—the girls, coaches, families and other volunteers. So don’t be surprised when you hear laughter along with self-reflection and see beaming smiles across the beautiful, confident faces of our girls.

Me + Relationships + Community

Meeting twice a week in small teams of 14 girls, we teach life skills through fun, engaging lessons that celebrate the joy of movement. The 21-lesson curriculum is taught by trained Girls on the Run® coaches and includes three parts: understanding ourselves, valuing relationships and teamwork and understanding how we connect with and shape the world at large. Over the course of the program, girls will develop and improve competence, feel confidence in who they are, develop strength of character, respond to others and themselves with care and compassion, create positive connections with peers and adults, and make a meaningful contribution to community and society. Click here for information about Academic Evaluations of the Girls on the Run research-based curriculum.

Power through Service

Acknowledging that accomplishment has many flavors, each team creates and carries out a local community service project. This experience demonstrates to girls the strength that comes from helping others.

Up and Running

To conclude each season, the girls and their running buddies complete a 5K running event. This is an opportunity for for friends and family cheer the girls  on while they run and walk 12 laps around the PCHS track.  Completing a 5K gives the girls a tangible sense of achievement as well as a framework for setting and achieving life goals. The results are the same—making the seemingly impossible, possible.
Simple, engaging and extraordinary. The result? Healthy, confident girls who can.

How Can We Start a Program at Our Site in Pamlico County?

A successful program requires the enthusiastic support of key staff and parents at your school or Afterschool Program.  For more information, see Starting a New Site.  Contact the director, Betsy Hughes at and tell her of your interest in offering Girls on the Run at your Pamlico County site.


Coaching Information

Coach Application Form

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