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Meg Ruane: Program Development Manager at Girls on the Run Long Island

Girls on the Run Long Island is an afterschool program for girls in 3rd-8th grade that emphasizes the importance of physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Girls on the Run is an international movement, and the Long Island chapter has helped over 5,000 girls in Nassau and Suffolk counties reach their full potential. Learn more about Girls on the Run Long Island here!

What is the mission of Girls on the Run?


Girls on the Run, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is a physical activity-based positive youth development program that is designed to enhance girls’ social, psychological, and physical skills and behaviors to successfully navigate life experiences. We inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.


What does your program entail?


The life skills curriculum is delivered by caring and competent coaches who are trained to teach lessons as intended while building relationships with and between girls; creating a positive, inclusive environment; and supporting individual improvement. The season concludes with a celebratory 5K event. Completing a 5K gives the girls a tangible sense of achievement as well as a framework for setting and achieving life goals. The program inspires girls to build lives of purpose and to make a meaningful contribution to community and society. This comes to life through a key element of the curricula when each team creates and executes a community service project.


What is the “5Cs + 1” approach?


The 10-week curriculum includes lessons that specifically target helping girls improve in

competence, confidence, caring, character, connection and contribution. Girls learn specific skills and strategies from our nationally trained volunteer coaches such as how to manage emotions, help others, make intentional decisions and resolve conflict that they use at home, at school and with friends.


Can you tell me about Girls on the Run’s values and vision?


We envision a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams. We want our girls to Recognize their power and responsibility to be intentional in their decision making, embrace their differences, and find strength in their connectedness. They learn to express joy, optimism and gratitude through words, thoughts, and actions, while nurturing their physical, emotional and spiritual health. Our goal is to have girls lead with an open heart, assume positive intent, and stand up for themselves and others.

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