The RRCA has granted more than $355,000 to youth running programs since 2007.
ARLINGTON, Virginia – October 27, 2023 – The Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) is pleased to announce the 2023 Kids Run the Nation grant recipients. Since the grant fund’s inception in 2007, the RRCA has distributed more than $355,000 to youth running programs nationwide. This year, 28 programs from 19 states and one territory serving more than 4,000 children will receive a total of $20,000 in funding. RRCA members, individual donors, 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.
Since 1974, Reston Runners’ Youth In Motion has placed a strong emphasis on overall health and well-being for kids ages 4-13 in its summer program. Participants interact and form friendships in training sessions and group runs in a nurturing and empowering environment, gearing up for an end-of-program event. Program leaders and volunteers work to instill cooperation, communication, goal setting, discipline, perseverance, resilience, sportsmanship, self-confidence, bonding, and friendship in participants in a positive and inclusive setting. The program’s motto is, “Adults call it ‘working out’; Kids call it ‘playing’.”
The Kensington Hilltop Running Club meets every morning throughout the school year and encourages all students to participate, incentivizing participation with prizes and fostering friendly competition with leaderboards updated on a weekly basis. A key goal for the program is to provide students with a fun, engaging activity that allows them to be physically active amidst their peers at the start of each school day, in an effort to increase both their alertness and concentration in the classroom during morning periods and decrease the likelihood of childhood obesity. Program leaders hope to increase students’ physical fitness, academics, and positive behaviors while instilling a love of physical activity, viewing running not as a chore but rather as something they look forward to.
No Surrender Running Club aims to provide a healthy and accessible after-school and summer programming option for Grand Rapids, MI youth ages 5-19 and their families. NSRC ensures that all runners receive proper tools, such as running shoes and clothing, to participate safely and confidently. Instruction is given in both English and Spanish to best serve runners and their families, and adult family members are encouraged to accompany their young runners at practices and events. Participants work towards running in two to four events each year, and program leaders hope to empower runners to achieve great things, one step at a time.
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 28 Kids Run the Nation grant recipients:
- Tamo’e – Pago Pago, American Samoa
- Cardinal Running – St. Michaels, AZ
- KIPP Runs/Students Run LA – Rancho Cucamonga, CA
- Wildcats on the Run – Richmond, CA
- Hilltop Running Club – Kensington, CA
- BGCV Project Fun Running Club – Vista, CA
- Run Club @ BUE – Parachute, CO
- Wallace Lake K8-Middle School Run Program – Pace, FL
- Brighten Academy Road Runners – Douglasville, GA
- BlazeSports Youth Adaptive Track & Field Program – Norcross, GA
- Elementary Running Clubs – Brownsburg, IN
- Kentucky State University Promising Youth Center After-School Mentoring Program – Frankfort, KY
- Healing with the Run – New Orleans, LA
- Lovell Recreation Running Club – Lovell, ME
- No Surrender Running Club – Grand Rapids, MI
- City League Cross Country – St. Louis, MO
- Adaptive Track and Road Racing for Children with Disabilities – Wooster, OH
- Miles for Mayo – Tulsa, OK
- Central Oregon Running Klub LittleFoot Running Program – Bend, OR
- Chartiers Valley Primary School Kids of Steel – Bridgeville, PA
- Eleanor Roosevelt Running Club & Eleanor Roosevelt Cross Country – Morrisville, PA
- Kids Run the Nation – Danville, PA
- Murray LaSaine Recess Run Club – Charleston, SC
- Foundation Communities Running Buddies – Austin, TX
- Reston Runners’ Youth In Motion – Herndon, VA
- Truman Trailblazers Running Club – Vancouver, WA
- St. Matthew Running Club – Spokane, WA
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.
“This year’s grant recipients have shown creativity and innovation in bringing the sport of running to young people in their communities. Through exciting programming and fun events, young runners will establish healthy habits for a lifetime,” notes Erica Gminski, the RRCA’s Youth Programs Manager. “Program leaders are introducing the sport to kids of all ages and abilities, helping to combat childhood obesity, and have created supportive, inclusive environments for runners to learn and grow.”
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 outlined 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 $355,000 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.
About the RRCA: The Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) is the oldest and largest national association of running organizations and runners dedicated to empowering everyone to run since 1958. The RRCA champions the development and success of community-based running organizations that empower all people to participate in the sport of running in pursuit of enjoyment, health, well-being, and competition. Learn more at: www.rrca.org