Girls on the Run of NOVA

Is Working to Build Strong, Confident, and Healthy Girls in Northern Virginia

Did you know more than half of girls experience a drop in confidence when they hit puberty? A 2014 study on puberty and confidence found only 19 percent of girls surveyed had a positive association with the phrase “like a girl.”

Girls on the Run of NOVA (GOTR NOVA) is working to change this by helping local girls gain the skills they need to become strong, confident, and healthy women. With a unique, research-based curriculum that creatively integrates running, Girls on the Run promotes healthy lifestyles and a positive self-image.

“Girls on the Run lessons help girls to develop important strategies and skills they need to successfully navigate life experiences,” said Katey Comerford, Executive Director for GOTR NOVA. “These include standing up to peer pressure, being intentional about choosing friendships, identifying and handling both comfortable and uncomfortable emotions, and demonstrating respect and responsibility towards oneself and towards others.”

GOTR NOVA has two tiers of youth enrichment: Girls on the Run for 3rd-5th grade girls and Heart & Sole for 6th-8th grade girls. Programming is delivered over a 10-week season with teams meeting twice each week, before or after school. Trained Volunteer Coaches work directly with the girls, mentoring and guiding their teams through discussion based lessons that transition to fitness activities designed to reinforce the day’s topic.

“Girls on the Run ignites a belief in each participant that she can achieve anything,” said Comerford. “We help girls increase confidence in who they are, develop strength of character, create positive connections with peers and adults, and make meaningful contributions to their community.”

Over its 16-year history, Girls on the Run of NOVA has directly impacted more than 55,000 girls throughout Northern Virginia. Several Reston schools hosted Girls on the Run teams during the 2015-16 school year, including Armstrong Elementary, Aldrin Elementary, Dogwood Elementary, Forest Edge Elementary, Lake Anne Elementary, and Reston Montessori School.

Bring Girls on the Run and Heart & Sole to Your Community

GOTR NOVA is a nonprofit organization that needs your help to grow. Each season, hundreds of volunteers, donors, and sponsors (including VivaReston Lifestyle Magazine) come together to support the program.

Heart & Sole is Girls on the Run’s newest offering – a newly revamped program specifically designed for middle school girls. The program creates a positive, structured space for girls to learn about themselves, explore new ideas, cultivate empathy, strengthen connections and develop life skills that will help them as they move through adolescence and beyond. GOTR NOVA wants to bring Heart & Sole to your school for the Fall 2016 season.

“Only 1 in 4 girls in Northern Virginia has access to Girls on the Run programming,” said Comerford. “We need your help spreading the word so Girls on the Run of NOVA can continue to increase access to high quality youth development programming throughout Northern Virginia.” If you are interested in learning more about how you can start a team, register a family member, or volunteer your time, visit

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