The RRCA has granted more than $325,000 to youth running programs since 2007
ARLINGTON, Virginia – November 21, 2022 – The Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) is pleased to announce the 2022 Kids Run the Nation grant recipients. Since the grant fund’s inception in 2007, the RRCA has distributed more than $325,000 to youth running programs nationwide. This year, 37 programs from 27 states serving nearly 20,000 children will receive a total of $30,300 in funding. RRCA members, individual donors, and the Insurance Management Group (IMG) and K&K Insurance have once again shown their support for gender-inclusive, participation-based running education through their contributions to the Kids Run the Nation Fund.
Every day during recess, Jackson Elementary School’s Saints in Motion offers students in grades 1-5 the opportunity to run laps. The program aims to get kids excited about moving by setting goals and receiving recognition for achieving milestones. Participating students track their laps and miles on punch cards, with program leaders charting their progress with mile markers in a display case in the school. Runners earn rewards for completing various distances throughout the school year, such as certificates, lanyards, bicycles, and fitness tracker watches.
A new youth running program at The Village School of Louisville will use the RRCA’s Kids Run the Nation curriculum to introduce students in grades K-9 to the sport of running. Serving a diverse student body, VSL uses a whole-family approach to education and aims to ensure that all students are able to experience different sports and activities during the school day. The school follows the Finnish model, emphasizing learning through discovery and basing its education in equity.
In the Atlanta area, BlazeSports’ Youth Track & Field program uses the sport of running to help young people with physical disabilities realize their potential and develop the life skills they need to succeed. As part of the Youth L.E.A.D. (Leadership, Employment, Advocacy, Development) initiative, young runners in elementary, middle, and high school grades evaluate their personal strengths and weaknesses, set goals, and focus on self-esteem, confidence, and motivation to help them reach those goals. Practices have a different theme every month, such as leadership, mental health, or teamwork, which are also incorporated into webinars and other events.
Year after year the Kids Run the Nation Fund supports programs in communities across the U.S. The following is a complete list of this year’s 37 Kids Run the Nation grant recipients:
Denali Running Club – Fairbanks, AK
Mesquite Mileage Club – Tucson, AZ
Kids Run the School – San Jose, CA
BGCV Project Fun Running Club – Vista, CA
BV Run Club – Walnut Creek, CA
Saints in Motion – Greeley, CO
Teens Run DC – Washington, DC
OBE Running Club – Gulf Breeze, FL
Florida Striders Children’s Running Program – Orange Park, FL
BlazeSports Youth Track & Field – Norcross, GA
Arbon Valley Runners Club – Arbon Valley, ID
Wild Fox Run Club – St. Charles, IL
Harrison Track Program – South Bend, IN
Manhattan Cross Country Club – Manhattan, KS
VSL Running Club – Louisville, KY
Junior Bulldogs Running Club – Boston, MA
Kids Run the Nation – Stoneham, MA
Recess Running Club – Sabillasville, MD
Brainerd Family YMCA Youth Running Club – Brainerd, MN
Gibbs Gallopers – Rochester, MN
The NB3 Running Club – Santa Ana Pueblo, NM
Vikings Running Club – Las Vegas, NV
Kids on The Run – Glens Falls, NY
The P.S. 146 Running Club – New York, NY
Menlo Park Academy Running Club and Track Team – Cleveland, OH
Interscholastic Track Inclusion – Wooster, OH
YMCA of Youngstown Running Club – Youngstown, OH
Elementary Track Program – Maysville, OK
Small Strides – Lakeview, OR
Atkinson Running Club – Portland, OR
Students Run Philly Style – Philadelphia, PA
Honea Path Elementary Running Club – Honea Path, SC
Youth Villages Runners’ Club – Memphis, TN
Patriot Pacers – San Antonio, TX
Rappahannock Ospreys – Fredericksburg, VA
Kids Run RVA – Richmond, VA
Kids Run the Nation – Princeton, WV
The RRCA will also donate copies of the Program Guide for Teachers, Coaches, and Program Leaders and the Running Guide for Kids booklet to additional programs.
“We are excited and encouraged by the diversity and creativity exhibited by this year’s grant recipients. They’re bringing the sport of running to the young people in their communities through innovative programming and fun events that help young runners establish healthy habits for a lifetime,” notes Erica Gminski, the RRCA’s Youth Programs Manager. “Program leaders have created supportive, inclusive environments for runners to learn and grow, introducing the sport to kids of all ages and abilities and helping to combat childhood obesity.”
About Kids Run the Nation: The Kids Run the Nation program is a gender inclusive, multi-week, turnkey, youth running program designed to meet the physical activity goals outline by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for children in kindergarten through sixth grade. A midcourse report issued by the USDA, “Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans,” outlines clear evidence that bringing physical activity into schools positively impacts youth. Since 2007, the RRCA has provided over $325,000 in small grants to deserving youth running programs around the country through the Kids Run the Nation Fund. The goal of the RRCA’s Kids Run the Nation program is to help establish locally managed youth running programs in every school and community across the U.S.