There’s No Stopping ‘Girls on the Run’

As they crossed the finish line wearing colorful shirts, and big smiles, the fourth through sixth grade girls discovered something about themselves. There’s no stopping a confident girl on the run.

Indeed, “Girls on the Run” is a non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. The program is off to a fast start in the Chula Vista Elementary School District.

The students from Liberty and Corky McMillin elementary schools participated in the Girls on the Run 5K in December at Liberty Station in San Diego. The 5K culminated a 10-12 week program.

“Over the course of the program, the girls develop and feel confident in who they are,” said Heather Cruz, CVESD Coordinator of Physical Education, Health, & Wellness. “The girls develop strength of character, respond to others and oneself with care, and create positive connections with peers and adults. They complete a community service project at the end of the program. They learn the importance of making a meaningful contribution to community and society.”

The McMillin coaches included Jenny Morales, Summer Lopez, Carla Mendoza, Christina Hernandez, and Teresa Kinney. The Liberty coaches included Katie Sierra, Isabel Franke, and Ann Tenney.

The curriculum includes three parts: helping the girls understand themselves better, value relationships and teamwork, and understanding how they connect with and shape the world at large. Completing a 5k gives the girls a tangible sense of achievement as well as a framework for setting and achieving life goals, organizers say.

Cruz points out the added benefit: making the seemingly impossible, possible.

If other schools are interested in starting a Girls on the Run program, staff members can contact Cruz at More information about Girls on the Run can be found at

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One Comment on “There’s No Stopping ‘Girls on the Run’”

  1. ellelahlum January 22, 2016 at 6:38 am #

    That is fantastic! Confidence and strength are so vital. The third piece that focuses on their connection to shaping the world would be a great place to emphasize math and science as well as women’s history and those that have successfully made their mark. I am proud to teach in a district that promotes so much beyond the core curriculum.

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