RRCA Announces 2014 Kids Run the Nation Grant Recipients

October 29th, 2014

Twenty-Five Kids Run the Nation Grants for 2014 go to Programs Serving over 8,000 Children

ARLINGTON, Virginia- October 29, 2014 – The Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) is pleased to announce the 2014 Kids Run the Nation grant recipients. Twenty-five programs throughout the U.S. serving over 8,000 children will receive a total of $20,000 in grants from the RRCA. In addition, the RRCA will donate copies over 18,000 copies of the Kids Run the Nation: A Running Guide for Kids booklet to be given to program participants in thirty-four different programs, an in-kind donation to these programs valued at over $20,000.

The running programs receiving grant funding this year represent the breadth and depth of the Kids Run the Nation funds impact, both geographically and demographically. For the majority of the grantees, over 60% of the youth served by these programs are eligible for free and reduced school lunches.

One of this year’s awardees is the Nuniwarmiut School Running Clun in Moryuk, AK. In existence since 2010, the program is founded on the principle of getting native Cup’ig Eskimo children interested in running. While the population of the island where the program is located has just 200 residents, it has a rich history of distance running.  Runners would herd reindeer on foot over the expanse of the 35-by 45-mile island, however, the introduction of the all-terrain vehicle made distance running almost obsolete. The program is focusing on running as part of the children’s cultural history as well as helping students develop a “can-do” attitude. Access to running shoes is a challenge as most children in the village run in either rubber boots or hand me down shoes as travel to well-stocked stores can be costly for the residents of the island.

Also receiving a Kids Run the Nation grant this year are the Relatives as Parents Program (RAPP) Runners in Kingston, NY. The RAPP Runners program is designed to assist caregivers who have taken on the role of primary caregiver for relative children. The youth served in this program, numbering over 100, have been exposed to unsafe environments, and they are usually dealing with deep grief issues.  Many, if not all, are being raised in homes that are at or below the poverty level. The RAPP Runners follow the Kids Run the Nation Program Guide, and strives to teach important life lessons and concepts, including: goal setting; motivation; commitment to long-term goals; and how exercise is beneficial to not only the body but the mind as well.

A complete list along with the compelling profiles of this year’s Kids Run the Nation grant recipients can be found at http://www.rrca.org/services/news-entry/rrca-awards-twenty-five-kids-run-the-nation-grants-for-2014/.

“The need to financially support youth running continues to grow as more evidence-based research shows that organized running programs for youth is a key component in combating childhood obesity,” explained Jean Knaack, RRCA Executive Director. “Foundations and corporations need to stop funding studies on the problem of inactivity and start putting more money into funding the solution. We received over 300 applications for programs that are getting over 75,000 children running regularly, and they are all deserving of financial support.”

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 grades 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 $115,000 in small grants to deserving youth running programs around the country through the Kids Run the Nation Fund. The RRCA’s vision is to help establish locally managed, youth running programs in every grade school in America. 

About RRCA: Founded in 1958, The Road Runners Club of America is the oldest and largest national association of running clubs, running events, and runners dedicated to promoting running as a competitive sport and as healthy exercise.  The mission of the RRCA is to promote the sport of running through the development and growth of running clubs and running events throughout the country.  The RRCA supports the common interests of runners of all abilities during all stages of life by providing education and leadership opportunities along with programs and services that benefit all runners.  The RRCA strives to provide quality programming that can be replicated throughout the country, such as our highly successful Start a Running Club program has been the cornerstone of our organization for over fifty years. The RRCA is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization with the IRS. Learn more at www.RRCA.org.

Road Runners Club of America

RRCA Announces 2014 Kids Run the Nation Grant Recipients

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Andy Smith

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