The Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) is pleased to support youth running clubs and announces the 2018 Kids Run the Nation grant recipients. Forty-seven youth running programs from 26 states, serving nearly 23,000 children, will receive a total of $35,000 in grants from the RRCA. RRCA member clubs and events, along with individual donors, have once again shown their support for gender-inclusive, participation-based running education through their contributions to the Kids Run the Nation Fund. The RRCA will also donate copies of the Program Guide for Teachers, Coaches, and Program Leaders and the Running Guide for Kids booklet to 14 additional programs, an in-kind donation valued at over $5,000.
At U.S. Marine Corps Camp Butler on Camp Foster in Okinawa, Japan, the Oki Warrior Youth Run Clinic will encourage healthy lifestyles among young military dependents by teaching the principles of running and benefits of physical activity. Leaders will work with runners to set individual and team goals in an effort to boost confidence, foster dedication, and eventually lead to a sense of accomplishment upon meeting or exceeding those goals. The program will conduct outreach to schools and engage families to drive participation and improve outcomes.
The Northern Border Running Club in Newport, VT provides a family-friendly environment for walking and running in an effort to instill healthy habits among residents of their rural, high-poverty area. Both children and parents participate in group runs on the track and the trail, and are led by outdoor educators and coaches with a goal of completing a costume race on Halloween. Volunteerism is an important tenet of the program, with all participants expected to help with the Halloween event or another local race.
The Italian Home for Children in Jamaica Plain, MA will introduce the Junior Bulldogs Running Club to serve young residents who are victims of trauma, have mental health concerns, and have developmental challenges. The wellness-focused program will offer a positive outlet for stress and encourage personal growth by working with 10-13 year-olds to set individual running goals, develop personalized training programs, and provide mentorship and coaching to help them reach those goals. Residents are susceptible to substance abuse and will have community support from peers and adults to emphasize their value and self-worth through running. Program participants will give back by mentoring new members, and the program will culminate with a celebration attended by family, staff, and coaches.
View the full list of youth running clubs.