SPARTA, NJ~ Girls on the Run New Jersey North has been awarded a grant from The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation Sports Matter program for $3,200.

Girls on the Run is a physical activity based positive youth development program that combines curriculum with sport aimed at building self-esteem and confidence in young girls between third and eighth grade. Throughout the Girls on the Run season, the girls will discuss such topics such as body image, popularity, gossiping, choosing their friends, conflict resolution and much more.  The girls will develop their character, their competence and feel confident in who they are, by creating positive connections with peers and adult coaches.  Ultimately, they make a meaningful contribution to their community with a Community Impact Project and complete a celebratory 5K event.

Girls on the Run is included as a top research-based program in a Social-Emotional Learning Guide developed by researchers at Harvard University and has been recognized by the National Afterschool Association (NAA) as one of the most influential after-school programs.  Additionally, an independent study of Girls on the Run found that the program is highly effective at driving transformative and lasting change in the lives of third through eighth grade girls. Ninety-seven percent of participants said they learned critical life skills such as how to resolve conflict, manage emotions, help others and make intentional decisions. When challenges are presented, they are drawing upon these Girls on the Run lessons at home, at school and with their friends.

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 “The empowering environment of the Girls on the Run program is unique,” Council Director, Maureen Dykstra said.  She continued, “After they complete the program, the girls are mentally and physically stronger, more confident and filled with a sense of accomplishment.  We are grateful to DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation for enabling us to bring provide this life-changing experience to more girls.”  

DICK’S Sporting Goods and The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation believe that sports make people better.  Through their Sports Matter initiative they have raised awareness for the importance of youth sports. “We are excited to partner with Girls on the Run to provide funding for new school programs in the Northern New Jersey area,” Brian Hagerman, Community Marketing Manager, DICK’S Sporting Goods said.

The spring Girls on the Run registration opens on February 22, and the program starts on April 12, 2021. For more information about Girls on the Run NJ North or to volunteer, visit their website at or email them at