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Rrca Announces 2009 Kids Run the Nation® Grant Recipients

Arlington, VA - In 2009, the Road Runners Club of America established the Kids Run the Nation Fund to provide needed resources to youth running programs around the country as an opportunity to address the on-going inactivity and obesity epidemic affecting today’s youth.

The Kids Run the Nation Grant Selection Panel of David Cotter (RRCA Vice President), Sharlee Cotter (Kids Run the Nation Fund Founder), Dan Kesterson (Youth Runner Magazine), Brent Ayer (RRCA President), Libby Jones (Texas - North State Rep), and Sally Meyerhoff (RRCA Roads Scholar) is pleased to announce the 2009 Kids Run the Nation Grant recipients. The panel reviewed 56 applications for programs that collectively serve more than 24,000 youth around the country.

The RRCA is pleased to award a total of $5000 worth of Kids Run the Nation Grants to the following youth running programs for 2009:

Couch to 5k – Children’s Rescue Center - Springfield, OH

The Children’s Rescue Center is a nonprofit organization in Springfield, OH that serves at-risk youth. A recent local census outlined that 36.8% of families and children in Springfield are living at or under the poverty line compared to the national average of 17.9% making participation in Springfield City School sports’ teams outside of the financial reach for many students served by the Children’s Rescue Center. The Couch to 5K is an eight-week program, established in 2009, designed to get students away from unproductive activities and into a healthy lifestyle through training to successfully run a 5K road race. The program serves more than 300 local youth.

Clear Creek Running Club - Bloomington, IN

Clear Creek Running Club is a program offered through Clear Creek Elementary School in Bloomington, IN. Clear Creek Elementary serves a rural, low-income population with over 40% of their students receiving free or reduced price lunch. Students in this rural population seem to be hit especially hard by the inactivity and obesity epidemic, and many of the children are not exposed to healthy lifestyle habits. Clear Creek Running Club has four clearly outlined goals for their program that was launched in 2009: improve general fitness, develop lifelong fitness habits, create positive social interactions through fitness, improve confidence in participation in overall fitness.

Fitness University - Nashua, NH

Fitness University is a running and fitness program developed by the Gate City Striders in 1989. It is a free program for children ages 3 through that is dedicated to promoting the importance of fitness, fun and good health. The program includes running clinics held throughout the summer months topped off with a “finals” day, which is a showcase of the children’s efforts along with a fitness education fair for the community. Participation in the program has more than tripled over the last four years and the program currently serves 600 children.

Fay Dolphin Runners Club - San Diego, CA

Fay Elementary opened its doors in September 2008 to a diverse student population that represents 63% Hispanic, 14% African American, 20% Asian, and 2% Caucasian. To channel the student’s energy and to get them ready to learn for the day, the Fay Dolphin Runners Club was established in 2009. The Club meets two mornings a week before school to run laps. The laps are logged and students earn incentive items as they log their collective school miles across a map of the United States. In addition, the students receive one hour of physical education a week during which the P.E. teacher will utilize the Kids Run the Nation materials to teach about running as a healthy exercise.

Sugarloaf Sharks Running Club - Cudjoe Key, FL

The Sugarloaf Sharks Running Club is a program of the Key West Southernmost Runners Club. The goal of the program is to introduce 10 to 14 year old middle school boys and girls to running and to offer an activity to youth that do not qualify for other sports teams. The Club meets twice a week for one hour after school from September through May. The program utilizes school property and surrounding bike paths as the group extends its mileage. Participants are encouraged to run in a local 5K, and the program culminates in the 7-Mile Bridge Run, which is free to all program participants.

Run For Home Youth Training Program - Dover, OH

The Run for Home Youth Training Program is part of the Run For Home Road Runners Club. The Runners Club is designed to provide a training program for people interested in participating the club sponsored half-marathon that benefits the local Habitat for Humanity. The Run for Home Youth Training Program grew out of the interest from the adult training program. The Youth Training Program will be launched in 2010 and will be a series of eight Saturday morning workshops designed to introduce children ages 4 to 12 to the benefits of running utilizing the Kids Run the Nation program model. Participation in the program is free of charge, and participants will be encouraged to run in the Run for Home one-mile fun run/walk.

Clearview Panthers - Bethlehem, PA

The Clearview Panthers were formed in 2009 after a successful lesson taught on running and heart health to a Kindergarten class at Clearview Elementary School in Bethlehem, PA. Clearview Elementary is an urban, Title I school with a diverse student population. The Clearview Panthers will model their program on the Kids Run the Nation materials and will meet weekly for nine weeks to run. The program will culminate in a trip to the Lehigh Valley Half Marathon kids race.

Banner Running Club - Peoria, IL

The Banner Running Club is a youth running club started by Banner Elementary School PTO in 2009. The club meets after school for a brief clinic on topics such as goal-setting, nutrition, running, sportsmanship, and more. Students in grades 3 through 5 are encouraged to participate, and the program culminates in running in a local 5k race.

Give To The Kids Run The Nation Fund

All Kids Run the Nation grants are funded through the generous contributions from running clubs, events, individual donors, and corporations. Please consider making a contribution to the Kids Run the Nation Fund, today! 100% of your contribution will be invested in the Kids Run the Nation Fund, and your contribution is tax deductable.

Mail your check to

  • Road Runners Club of America
  • 1501 Lee Hwy, Suite 140 Arlington, VA 22209
  • Phone: 703-525-3890
  • Memo line: Kids Run the Nation (KRN)

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