Health Education & Promotion

Girls on the Run of West Michigan

What is Girls on the Run of West Michigan?

Girls on the Run of West Michigan (GOTR-WM) is an Independent Council of Girls on the Run International, which has a network of over 200 locations across the United States and Canada. GOTR-WM takes place at over 200 sites across Kent, Muskegon and Ottawa Counties.

Girls on the Run (GOTR) is a life-changing, non-profit program for girls in the 3rd – 8th grade. Their mission is to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.

The curriculum is taught by certified GOTR coaches and includes three parts: understanding ourselves, valuing relationships and teamwork, and understanding how we connect with and shape the world. Running is used to inspire and motivate girls, encourage lifelong health and fitness, and build confidence through accomplishment.

Why is this a focus of the Kent County Health Department (KCHD)?

According to the New York University Child Study Center, self-esteem peaks in girls when they are around 9 years old and then, for many, it drops drastically. As girls age, that drop in self- esteem is often accompanied by health risks like eating disorders, risk-taking behaviors and depression. These risks impact the health of our girls and the health of our community.

How is KCHD addressing this issue?

The health department does not provide GOTR-WM. However, the health department and Health Education and Promotion staff support GOTR-WM in their efforts to reach girls in Kent, Muskegon and Ottawa Counties. For more information or to connect directly with GOTR-WM, visit:

Girls on the Run of West Michigan »