Starting a New Program

If you are interested in joining us for the Spring 2018 season, please see the details below about starting a program at your school. Contact Program Manager Denise Pang at if you have any questions.

Inspire girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident. Start a team at your school!

If you're ready to sign up, click HERE for our 2018 Site Application.

Ready to start a team at your school?

Each year, Girls on the Run of Silicon Valley is committed to inspiring more girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident by providing more opportunities to participate in Girls on the Run and Heart & Sole at schools throughout Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties.

When you start a team at your school, you and your fellow volunteer coaches will meet with your team of girls twice a week for 10 weeks — building confidence, connections, muscles and more! Using our research-based curricula, you’ll lead your team through running-based games and lessons (all prepped and ready for you – lesson plans and supplies included) that teach the girls valuable life skills and help them train for the end-of-season Girls on the Run 5K!

Our goal is to make starting and leading your team a fun, easy, rewarding experience! We provide coaches with curriculum books that include detailed lesson plans and the materials you will need for every practice. We do the back-end work so that you can spend your time making a difference in the lives of the girls on your team!

What is Girls on the Run?

  • Girls on the Run is our elementary school program. We have three curricula, designed by Girls on the Run International, that we rotate through to offer girls a different experience each year. All three curricula follow the same themes: first getting to know yourself, then getting to know others, and finally exploring our role in the world and how we can make a difference.

What is Heart & Sole?

  • Heart & Sole is our middle school program. Formerly Girls on Track, Heart & Sole was introduced by Girls on the Run International in 2014 with a brand-new curriculum designed specifically for middle school girls. The Heart & Sole curriculum is based on the Girl Wheel, a five-pronged wheel representing areas of all girls’ lives: spirit, brain, heart, social, and body. The curriculum helps the girls identify in which areas they are already strong, in what areas they can strengthen their skills, and how they can grow overall.

When is the 2018 Season?

  • All programs start the week of March 5, 2018, and culminate with the Girls on the Run 5K on Saturday, May 19, 2018, at Vasona Park in Los Gatos.
  • Teams meet twice a week for 10-weeks (plus one week off for spring break). Lessons take place after-school and are 90 minutes in length. Coaching requires a flexible afternoon schedule as all sites meet on weekdays, generally between 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm.

How Do I Start a Team at My School?

  • Each year we add a limited number of new Girls on the Run and Heart & Sole program sites. Consideration is based on the criteria below and the date of submission (sites are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis).
  • All potential 2018 program sites must:
    • Review the 2018 Program Information Packet (see below).
    • Meet our Readiness to Participate Criteria (see below).
    • Submit a site application and have all vollunteer coaches at the site submit coach applications.
    • Be approved for the season.

How Many Volunteer Coaches Do We Need?

  • All sites must have 2 coaches per team plus 1 additional coach for flexibility. Visit our Become a Coach page to learn more about coaching!
    • All coaches MUST commit to being at BOTH lessons each week; we build in a safety net with 1 additional coach so that in case a coach has to miss a lesson due to a flat tire, trip, illness or other unforseen circumstance, your site will still have the minimum number of coaches (2 per team) present.
  • Sites can have 1, 2, 3, or 4, of what we call "teams." Each team can have up to 15 girls.
    • New sites are encouraged to start with 1 team their first year. At sites with 2 or more teams, all the girls meet at the same time and place on campus. They are then broken out into smaller groups of up to 15 girls for all parts of the lesson except the Workout, which they do together.
  • The number of "teams" at your site determines the number of girls who can sign up and the number of coaches you must have.
# of TEAMS at your site MAXIMUM # of girls who can register MINIMUM # of coaches required MAXIMUM # of coaches allowed
                  1                            15                          3                          3
                  2                            30                          4                          5
                  3                            45                          6                          7
                  4                            60                          8                          9

What is the Program Fee?

  • Schools and coaches do NOT pay to have Girls on the Run or Heart & Sole at their site. Each site is equipped with official curriculum books and the materials they'll need for the season as well as support throughout the year.
  • The girls who participate in the program pay our base fee of $210 per girl. (Coaches receive a discount on their daughter's registration fee.) The base fee does NOT cover our actual cost per girl. We actively fundraise and seek out sponsorships, grants and other sources of revenue to keep our costs as low as possible for all girls and families who want to participate. (Some schools and/or school district charge Girls on the Run of Silicon Valley very high facility-use fees. At these locations, an additional amount of approximately $5-25 per girl may be added to the base program fee.)
Are Scholarships Available?
  • Need-based scholarships are available. We are proud that we have never turned a girl away for being unable to pay the full program fee.
  • In addition, schools at which 70% or more of the student population is eligible for free or reduce lunch are eligible to be awarded full-scholarship status. These sites receive a reduced program fee of $25 er participant. These sites agree to additional details, such as assisting parents with the registration process and providing bus transportation for their program participants and families to and from the 5K. Contact Program Manager Denise Pang at if you'd like to be considered to be a full-scholarship site for our 2018 season.

2018 Season Program Information Packet

Please review our 2018 Program Site Information Packet to learn all about starting a team at your school!

Readiness to Participate Criteria

To start a team, you must meet the Readiness to Participate Critera listed below.

  • Provide volunteer coaches who commit to being at BOTH lessons/practices EACH week for the duration of the season (week of March 5, 2018, through May 19, 2018).
    • Coaches do NOT need to be runners, do NOT need to have prior coaching experience and do NOT need to have a daughter in the program – You just need to bring an enthusiasm for healthy living and an interest in inspiring girls to become strong, young women!
    • All coaches are trained by Girls on the Run of Silicon Valley by completing an online training (all coaches) and a half-day, in-person training.
    • All new coaches must agree to a Live Scan (fingerprint) background check (paid for by GOTR) and reference check.
    • At least one coach per site must be certified in both CPR and First Aid. (GOTR provides and pays for the opportunity for one coach per team to become certified.)
    • One coach is designated the “head coach.” This coach submits the site application and acts as the main point of contact with the Girls on the Run of Silicon Valley office.
    • Learn more about coaching by visiting our Become a Coach page.
  • Provide a safe, dedicated space for outdoor running.
    • The space does NOT have to be a track; a field or large blacktop area will work perfectly! The space should be away from other programs, activities, and distractions.
    • ALL lessons (including the Practice 5K) MUST be held on (and stay on) campus.
  • Provide a rainy-day location. (Programs take place rain or shine!)
    • Your rainy-day space MUST be available for you to use on any day it rains (and not in conflict with any other program) but should ONLY be used on rainy days.
    • Your rainy-day space can be a gym, multi-purpose room, classroom, or covered outdoor area with sufficient shelter to be useable on rainy days.
  • Choose two non-consecutive days each week for the program to meet for 90 minutes per lesson.
    • Speak with your school to see which days work best for space and to avoid conflicts with other programs and activities! We recommend starting 5-10 minutes after dismissal.
  • Receive approval from your school principal to have Girls on the Run or Heart & Sole at your school on the days and times you have selected.
    • A Girls on the Run staff member is happy to join you at your principal meeting to explain the program and answer any questions you or the school have. Just ask!
  • Communicate with potential program participants and their parents/guardians in October and November to promote the program registration opening on Saturday, December 2, 2017.
    • Get the word out early and often. We provide customizable newsletter blurbs and flyers.
    • You can also make classroom presentations, set up information tables at pick-up and drop-off and more!

What Our Principals are Saying:

“Girls on the Run is a dynamic program that support our girls in so many ways. Our girls learn leadership skills, perseverance, team building and commitment. This program is more than just running; girls learn how to support one another to complete a common goal. Girls also participate in community outreach. Overall, this program has made a huge impact on our campus.”
-Denise Khalid, Principal, Forest Hill Elementary, Campbell Union School District

“Girls on the Run had a huge impact on our students both physically and emotionally. The girls report that this program empowered them to become leaders and stronger people in general for their community and for others. The activities in the program taught them to believe in themselves and to believe that they can always succeed, to accept themselves and others for who they are and for what they believe, to be open-minded and open to new experiences. The girls learned how to be positive about themselves and that it is o.k. to be different. The program reinforced the value of treating others with respect and never to bully anyone. The girls made friends with people whom they would never have otherwise talked to or befriended."
-Donna Tonry, Principal, Sherman Oaks Elementary, Campbell Union School District

“Foothill School has been proud to take part in the Girls on the Run program. We have seen that the students taking part are more connected to school. This opens students up to advice and help with tricky situations. Girls on the Run helps to cut down on distractions and problems at our school. Thank you Girls on the Run.”
-Joe Bosco, Principal, Foothill Elementary, Saratoga Union School District

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