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Girls on Track
A Parent's Guide to Inspiring Our Daughters
to Achieve a Lifetime of Self-Esteem and Respect

by Molly Barker

Marathon runner and triathlete Molly Barker began running at the age of 15--an age when she found herself stuck in the "girl Box," when only girls who were a certain size with a certain beauty were popular; when girls who wanted to fit in had to mold their bodies and their personalities to fit the requirements of the box. Studies show that girls between the ages of eight and twelve are still receptive to adult influence and are just beginning to feel peer pressure. With this in mind, Barker created Girls on the Run®, a dynamic program to help young girls escape the pressures of the "Girl Box." In Girls on Track Barker offers parents and caregivers this proven plan for guiding young girls in the right direction, toward a more self-confident, independent, and healthy lifestyle.

Girls on Track combines running exercises with clever games and upbeat discussions about self-esteem, problem solving, and healthy living. Barker presents a successful ten-week self-esteem building program for girls between the ages of 8 and 12. She takes the lessons and precepts of Girls on the Run and translates them into a curriculum for individual girls and the grown-ups who love them and want to see them break out of the dreaded "Girl Box." Used on its own or in conjunction with a Girls on the Run program, this accessible guide includes activities, games, and lessons to encourage parents and daughters to get to know one another through working together, listening, and sharing while training for a 5K race. Topics include:

  • It's Cool To Be Myself
  • Let's Get Physical: Being physically healthy
  • Life is the Ultimate Rush: Avoiding alcohol, tobacco, and substance abuse
  • Beauty is an Inside Job: Avoiding eating disorders
  • Our Family Team: The importance of cooperation

Although Girls on the Run® operates 94 chapters across the United States and Canada, what many mothers, fathers, and educators want is impossible to provide in large groups: an individualized experience. Girls on Track provides a one-on-one format where two people--a girl and someone who loves her--can share and explore the thoughts and feelings around the "Girl Box" and the messages they get from it. At the end of the program, girls will emerge with an exciting increase in self-love and self-acceptance, empowered and eager to discover the limitless joys of growing up outside of the "Girl Box."

About the Author
On July 7, 1993, Molly Barker escaped her own personal "Girl Box" during a sunset run. A year later, she began working on Girls on the Run®. Before founding Girls on the Run International, she worked as a teacher, social worker, counselor, and coach. Her corporate sponsors include New Balance, American Girl, and Runner's World. In 1998 Runner's World awarded Molly Barker its Golden Shoe Award for contributions to the community through running. Molly and Girls on the Run® have been featured in People, Runner's World, Running Times, and on NPR, ESPN, and CNN News. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her children Hank and Helen.

To Purchase:
   • Girls on Track at
   • Girls on Track at Amazon UK
   • Girls on Track at Amazon Canada


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