BENEFITING: CHICAGO RUN
ORGANIZER: CHICAGO RUN
EVENT DATE: Oct 11, 2015
Founded in 2007 to aid in the fight against childhood obesity, Chicago Run is a non-profit organization that implements and supports running programs for children and youth throughout Chicago. The program is divided into two parts— “Chicago Runners” and “Running Mates”. In the “Chicago Runners” program, students run or participate in moderate to vigorous physical activity during recess, PE class or with the classroom teacher for a minimum of 15 minutes a day, three to five times a week. Students earn incentives such as a water bottle, notebook, or jump rope. “Running Mates” is an after school program designed to prepare middle school students to run in a local 5-k race; participants learn about teamwork, commitment, and perseverance through a curriculum that incorporates running workouts, strength training exercises, goal setting, team-building activities and nutrition lessons.
Chicago Run operates in the least funded schools, many of which of are at high risk of losing their physical education completely due to upcoming budget cuts. These are schools where 89% of the students qualify for the free or reduced federal lunch program; without Chicago Run a large majority of these students will likely never participate in an organized sports program.
This cause hits close to home me as some of my most cherished memories from school have been through athletics. I was fortunate to attend schools where gym class and encouragement to purse physical wellness was never at risk. Throughout the years—from enjoying recess in grade school to serving as team captain of the Washington and Lee University cross country team, running has always served as an important outlet to me.