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Heart & Sole (6th–8th grade)

Girls on the Run of Stark County is proud to offer a new program for middle school girls: Heart & Sole. The Heart & Sole curriculum, which replaces Girls on Track, was developed by Girls on the Run International to meet the unique needs of middle school girls by focusing on the whole girl. The curriculum is designed with themes that girls can relate to and helps build the life skills that they need. Heart & Sole is accessible to all girls regardless of their athletic ability or fitness level and considers the age range and varied experiences of middle school girls. 

Heart & Sole is a 10-week program with a smaller team size (8–15 girls) to allow the girls the opportunity to build relationships with with their coaches and one another. The program teaches life skills such as:

  • Team-building
  • Creating a support system
  • Boundary setting
  • Making connections & friendships
  • Goal setting
  • Problem solving
  • Emotional regulation
  • Standing up for themselves and others
  • Self-care
  • Overcoming obstacles
  • Decision making
  • Asking for and providing help

The "Girl Wheel" is the central concept of the program and focuses on the whole girl. In each lesson, girls will participate in activities related to the Girl Wheel components—spirit, body, heart, brain, & social. At the end of each session, the girls will use a journal to record lap goals, effort and self-reflect on the topics discussed that day. The journal gives girls time to go deeper into the themes and topics of interest to them.

Running remains a core element of this new Girls on the Run program and includes more rigorous strength and conditioning circuits appropriate for this age group. The season culminates with the Girls on the Run 5k. The 5k is a celebratory event that builds confidence, competence, cooperation, character, and gives the girls a tangible sense of goal setting and achievement. 

What are girls saying about it?
Girls who have participated in the pilots of Heart & Sole have great things to say about the program.

Here’s just a sampling:

“I like how we get to talk about things that matter to us. It’s a time just for us."

“I’ve made a lot of friends, and we can talk about anything with each other. I like the journal because I can write about how I feel.”

Heart & Sole addresses the needs and characteristics of adolescents.

Download this PDF to see just how Heart & Sole meets the needs of middle school girls.

Or, download a sample Heart & Sole lesson to see how it works.


Please note that GOTR Stark currrently only offers Heart & Sole in the spring.

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