- Harlingen Consolidated Independent, Harlingen, TX
- Windridge Running Club, Kaysville, UT
- Wesley House Association, St. Louis, MO
- Boys and Girls Club of Lower Merrimack Valley, Salisbury, MA
- Rod Dixon’s KiDSMARATHON Foundation, Los Angeles, CA
“Running can be a transformational and powerful engine for change, no matter what age,” said Richie Woodworth, president of Saucony and the Saucony Run for Good Foundation Board of Directors. “We know that these grants have the ability to be life-changing to so many kids who would otherwise not have an opportunity to make positive changes in their health. Research is showing that taking action against childhood obesity is finally paying off, but we can’t declare victory yet: All of us?parents, schools, communities and businesses?must continue to do what we can to put our kids on the path to a healthy future. Inherently, our ongoing commitment to this endeavor ties directly to Saucony’s brand mission: to empower the human spirit through running.”
According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the rise of obesity rates in all kids in the U.S. has ceased, and when it comes to our youngest children—those between 2 and 5 years old—the levels have started to fall. Growing evidence suggests that comprehensive, far reaching changes that support healthy eating and regular physical activity may be helping to reduce childhood obesity rates. Despite the positive news, more than one third of young people are overweight or obese—a rate far higher than it was a generation ago.
“Though childhood obesity rates are at last showing evidence of a decline, we still have a long way to go,” said Susan K. Hartman, associate publisher of Runner’s World magazine and a member of the Saucony Run for Good Board of Directors. “All of us at the Saucony Run for Good Foundation hope that our ongoing commitment to this national effort continues to make a difference for kids everywhere.”
The following organizations have been selected to receive a Saucony Run for Good Foundation grant:
Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District, Harlingen, TX
HCISD will implement a “Fit to Run” community running program targeting third to fifth graders who have been identified by a Fitness Gram Assessment as in need of healthier lifestyle alternatives. The program is designed to reduce childhood obesity for those kids struggling with weight issues while increasing opportunities for running activities and health and nutrition information. Kids will meet three times weekly for sixty minutes, divided into a health and wellness lesson and a run/walk activity. Parents and family members of selected students are invited to participate. By the end of the project, HCISD will have improved the overall cardiovascular health of students while instilling the benefits of eating well.
Windridge Running Club, Kaysville, UT
Created in 2010, the Windridge Running Club has grown in popularity to an average attendance of approximately 100 active Kindergarten through 6th grade runners, along with parents and Pre-K children as well. The short term goal of the club is to instill the love of running early in the lives of young children. The long-term goal is to help the children’s self-esteem grow through making healthy choices. The RFG grant will help keep the club solid and strong by allowing for the purchase of incentive awards and the organization of a 5K run/walk for the families of the children.
Wesley House Association, St. Louis, MO
The agency’s Get Out and Run project is to engage children and youth in sustainable programming that promotes running for fitness and teaches nutrition awareness. The project will consist of two phases: The running/fitness phase will include running activities, weekend hikes and weekly races culminating in a spring and fall 1K run event. The overall goal is for participants to log 50,000 steps with the use of a pedometer. The nutrition awareness phase will take place in a classroom setting with facilitator-led sessions covering a 6-week curriculum that includes group-based discussions and basic cooking sessions. Food journals will allow children to document food choices. Measurable outcomes have been identified to ensure the program is positively impacting the children and youth served.
Boys and Girls Club of Lower Merrimack Valley, Salisbury, MA
The BGCLMV’s After-School Enrichment Program provides an affordable alternative to economically challenged families looking for after school activities. The club is initiating the Kids On the Run Program with three components: running; self-esteem; and healthy eating. The program will be offered to all members of the Club at no cost, meeting twice a week and concluding with all members completing a 5k run in either the spring or fall. The club will perform a year-end assessment to evaluate the success of the program
Rod Dixon’s KiDSMARATHON Foundation, Los Angeles, CA
The mission of Rod Dixon’s KiDSMARATHON is to create a life-long commitment to good health and fitness in children at risk of obesity-related health problems.The KiDSMARATHON curriculum is an 8-10 week in-school running and nutrition education program that enables children 7-12 years of age to complete a full marathon (26.2 miles) by running approximately three miles per week. Participants who are active 60 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week, for 6 out of 8 weeks can earn a Presidential Active Lifestyle Award from the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. (Rod Dixon was one of the best runners in the world: Besides his 1983 New York City Marathon win, he is an Olympic Medalist, two-time World Cross Country Championship Medalist, and the 1500m Champion of the United States, France, Great Britain, and New Zealand.
For grant applications on how the Saucony Run for Good Foundation can help local youth communities nationwide, visit www.sauconyrunforgood.com