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Girls On The Run FAQs

What does Girls on the Run do?

One girl put it this way, "I learned that I am the boss of my brain." Helping girls take charge of their lives and define the future on their terms. You can also think of it as Can University—a place where girls learn that they can. No limits. No constraints. Only opportunities to be remarkable.

How do we play a role in our girls' lives?

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.

Why am I having trouble registering online?

We have found that the information we gather is much more accurate and complete with online registration.  Here are a few tips to help the process go smoothly.

  • Register using a desktop or laptop computer.  Unfortunately, at this time mobile devices and tablets do not  work with the registration program.
  • Please plan to spend 10-15 minutes to complete the process.
  • Know that you can't save your information. You will need to finish once you've started.
  • Once you have submitted your registration you will get an email confirmation that it's been received. If you do not receive an email confirmation, please call our office so we verify your girl's status.  

Can my girl be placed with her friend or a specific coach?

We are not able to grant friend requests or placement with a coach who is not the girl’s parent/guardian.  As you might imagine, with almost 2,000 girls participating in the program it is not feasible to manage such requests. Rest assured that GOTR programming is developed so your girl will feel confidence in who she is no matter where she is placed.  The coaches are trained to make all the girls feel comfortable with their team and assist the girls in creating positive connections with each other.    

What do the girls learn in the "GOTR Lessons"?

Click here to see an overview of our current 3rd-5th grade program curriculum!

What is our Privacy Policy?

Read our full Privacy Policy here:

Is Girls on Track offered anymore?

Heart & Sole is the new revamped program for middle school girls! More information about this program can be found here.

How many girls are on a team?

There are 8 to 15 girls on a GOTR team and 8-12 girls on a Heart & Sole team. WHY? The curriculum is designed to build healthy team dynamics.  Teams must have at least 8 girls in order for the activities in each lesson to be effective and yet we also need to ensure the size of the group is manageable for our coaches.  Because we also want each girl to contribute to our conversations during each lesson, we are committed to keeping the groups to a reasonable size.  If there are more girls than one team allows at a particular site, the site may be considered for multiple teams. Multiple teams being formed is dependent upon the number of trained volunteer coaches, practice space, and available resources at the site.

Why is registration so early?

Registration occurs for our programs several weeks or months in advance to allow time to fit each girl for a new pair of running shoes and to prepare the numerous supplies needed for each team.

How are participants chosen?

They are placed based on a variety of factors. It is NOT first-come, first-served.

WHY? In an effort to make the program accessible, program registration is not first-come, first-served. In the event that there are more girls interested in participating at a particular site than available spots, Greater Kalamazoo Girls on the Run will use a lottery system randomly selecting girls to form a team.  Once families have completed the online registration form, they will receive a confirmation email.  This email does not guarantee a spot for the participant; it confirms that the registration form has been received.  Payment is charged/deposited only if a participant enters the program.  After registration closes families will be notified by email of their registration status.

Why is there a lottery system?

The shortest answer is: the lottery is our way of providing equal access to participation. Even though our programs ARE for all girls, there are limits on team size – and on space and volunteer coaches available at each school/site. We are so sensitive to the fact that everyone can’t get to a computer or in to school to fill out a registration form at the same time. Some families have computers in their homes and some do not. So, if more girls are interested in a specific team than space allows, the lottery gives everyone an equal chance at participation.

Can my child participate at another site if the program is not at her school?

Yes.  Greater Kalamazoo GOTR aspires to make the program accessible to as many girls as possible. We allow girls to participate at a school/site that they do not attend if:

1. Transportation is not an issue.

2. The girl is able to attend the entire practice.

3. The school does not have policies in place that would preclude participation.

4. The girl is grade-eligible for the program. Girls who attend a host school get first preference to participate on the Girls on the Run team.  View a complete list of our sites here.

How do I start the program in my child’s school?

Within Greater Kalamazoo, we deliver the program in all interested school districts that have a presence within Kalamazoo County (Otsego, Plainwell, Gull Lake, Parchment, Kalamazoo, Comstock, Galesburg-Augusta, Mattawan, Portage, Climax-Scotts, Lawton, Schoolcraft, Vicksburg and Athens). Our territory is defined in conjunction with Girls on the Run International.

If Girls on the Run or Heart & Sole is not in a school in our program area, we can help you bring the program your way. See Starting a New Site for more information.

Can my home schooled child join Girls on the Run?

Yes! We have hosted a team of home schooled children at the Portage YMCA for the past few years. We also are happy to help place a home schooled child at any other area site if space allows.

If my child can only attend one practice per week, may I still register her for the program?

No. Full participation is required. This lends to a healthy group dynamic, an experiential learning process and provides appropriate training to complete the end-of -season 5k.  Girls who are absent for more than 4 practices during one season may be dismissed from the team.

How much does it cost?

$165. The actual out-of-pocket cost to the Girls on the Run program is approximately $200 per girl, but due to the generosity of grantors and donors, Greater Kalamazoo Girls on the Run is able to offer the program for $165 per girl.  

What does the program fee include?

  • 20 lessons conducted by two certified Girls on the Run® Coaches 
  • A new pair of quality running shoes (fit by Gazelle Sports)
  • Two official Girls on the Run T-shirts
  • Healthy snack at each practice
  • A water bottle
  • Participant's registration in the end of season 5K
  • 5K finisher's medallion

My child wants to withdraw from the program. May I get a refund? Does she get her shoes?

Girls on the Run program fees are non-refundable two weeks before the program begins. The exact date that fees are non-refundable are listed on the registration form or call the GOTR office to inquire.

As a part of participation within the Greater Kalamazoo Girls on the Run, every girl receives a brand new pair of running shoes!  Every effort will be made to fit your girl properly for their shoes.  We cannot guarantee the shoes will fit for the duration of the program. Girls must complete the program to receive all benefits, including the shoes. If a family pays a registration fee of 50% or greater, and the girl withdraws from the program she may keep her shoes, shirt and water bottle. Her shirt and water bottle will be given to her at the time she withdraws, however, her shoes will be held at the school until after the 5k. Please contact Laura regarding girl withdraws.  

Can parents/guardians run with the girls at the 5k?

Yes!  Additional information about participation in the Greater Kalamazoo Girls on the Run 5k will be available as the date nears.  There will be an opportunity for community runners to register as we get closer to the spring.  Registration forms are available on-line and are also sent home with each child as soon as they are available – generally about 4-6 weeks prior to the event.

What if I have difficulty paying the fee?

Financial assistance is available based on financial need. The Greater Kalamazoo GOTR requests that all participants pay a portion of the program fee, however minimal the amount may be, so there is buy-in and a sense of pride and ownership.  Financial assistance requests are made during the online registration process where families will be guided through a process to identify an appropriate fee for their family.

A family that can afford to pay $165 is asked to pay the full amount.  Participants of Girls on the Run and their families who cannot afford to pay $165 choose a program fee ranging from $5 to $164.  Girls participate equally in the program regardless of the fee their family selects.  The following scale is provided for families to choose what they believe they can afford.  The financial sustainability of our program depends on the honesty and integrity of parents who choose their appropriate registration amount.  It is essential that each family contribute as much toward the full cost of the registration fee as it can afford.  We will never turn away a girl for an inability to pay. If the $5 minimum fee presents a hardship for your family please contact the Greater Kalamazoo GOTR office at 269.532.1220, for further assistance. 

Sliding Scale

Are there any additional fees for Girls on the Run?

No, there are no additional fees beyond the registration.

Can my daughter repeat the program?

Yes!! Each of our curricula was designed to be used over and over again, with girls new to the program and with girls repeating the program. We also know that what a child experiences and learns in Girls on the Run as a third grader is quite different from what she learns as a fourth or fifth grader. With some repetition the depths of learning and the ability of a girl to apply what she learns at each lesson is greater. Within Girls on the Run, we rotate between three curricula each year, so our girls experience similar topics with different games and activities from one year to the next. And with that experience from one year to the next, returning girls often naturally step into mentoring and leadership roles with the younger girls.

What about a program for boys?

While we know boys need support – just as girls do, the issues boys face are very different than the challenges girls experience. Boys on the Run was piloted in Charlotte, North Carolina but the program has been put on hold indefinitely.

Is the Charity Miles app easy to use?

The Charity Miles app is very easy to use. After you download the app to your device, you will create a free account. Each time you do any type of workout you can start the app and it will translate your activity into miles. Girls on the Run earns .25 per mile of activity. A portion of the money raised comes to our local Girls on the Run council. 

Charity Miles Screenshot

Simple, engaging and extraordinary. The result? Healthy, confident girls who can.