As the 2023 school year kicks off, many people have to adjust their routines to fit in physical activity and other healthy habits. Active SWV tries to make this easy through our Community Captain, Kids Run Club, Workplace Wellness, and Active Places programs. The Kids Run Club program especially is a great way for kids and adults alike to incorporate some activity into their week when at school.
Here are three great reasons why you should start a Kids Run Club at your school this year:
1. You receive funding to start or continue your Kids Run Club.
Active SWV is offering any school in WV the opportunity to start of continue the Kids Run Club program. As part of the Kids Run Club mini-grant, schools receive $250 to spend on healthy items for their club to make it successful and fun. This can be water bottles, physical activity equipment, healthy snacks, or other similar items.
Our goal at Active SWV is to facilitate free physical activity opportunities for kids and adults alike. In keeping with this mission, the mini-grant also includes Kids Run Club program training, materials, and technical support from Active SWV throughout the duration of the program.
The fall 2023 cycle of the mini-grant is open until September 22nd – read more and apply here.
2. Positive benefits for kids and adults alike.
It’s common knowledge that everybody benefits from moving their bodies, and the Kids Run Club can help you do that every week. The current physical activity guidelines for Americans recommends that adults get 150 minutes of activity a week, and kids get 60 minutes of activity a day. Most Kids Run Clubs practice for about an hour once a week, which can help kids and adult volunteer coaches alike make progress on their physical activity goals for the week.
Additionally, kids are learning healthy skills at Kids Run Clubs, including the importance of hydration, healthy foods, stretching, how to run properly, and more. Kids Run Clubs also encourage kids to take their healthy habits home with them, and to be active on non-run club days.
Kids Run Club participants take a pre and post survey to measure the effects of the program. Past survey data has shown statically significant data around an increase in physical activity as well as a reduction in screen time for participants after being part of Kids Run Club for one season.
3. Kids, Adults, and Schools all over WV love it too!
The Kids Run Club program has been in over 50 schools through the state of West Virginia, and hundreds of kids have participated since the program began in 2015. We’ve gotten some amazing feedback on the program along the way. See what other kids and coaches have said about the Kids Run Club program:
“Ava enjoyed being a member of the Mount Hope Energy Express Running Club. Every Tuesday and Thursday she would remind me that she needed to wear her running shoes and she made sure to do her stretches. The program allowed her to understand the importance of a healthy lifestyle and she was super proud of being a part of a “club”. During the evenings, she’d run laps and we would time her. She’s competitive by nature, so the club helped her to set individual goals and understand the importance of self awareness and listening to her body. The boost of confidence your program gave to her is priceless! At an early age, we have taught our children that being active is a key part of a healthy life! It’s a lifestyle for us! In our family, there’s three factors to a well balanced life: eat (food is fuel), sleep, and exercise. Physical activity is so important to us because it makes our family happy and healthy! It also puts the kiddos sound asleep at night!” – Kids Run Club parent
“I would volunteer again. The students had fun and looked forward to it every week. They went to classrooms and talked about the fun they had participating in this healthy activity. Families were so thankful for the run club experience and especially were wowed by the celebration. It feels as though a new tradition could have been started.” – Kids Run Club coach
“Yes I would volunteer again. I loved it so much because I got to know kids that were in other classes. I also got to see them get excited when they met their goal Orr exceeded it!” – Kids Run Club coach
“The kids loved it and we are seeing a great rise in numbers for the middle school cross country team because of run club. It’s definitely meeting its goal of getting kids more active.” – Kids Run Club coach
“Run Club has made a huge impact on BRE (Birch River Elementary). Students and adults both benefit from the time spent together outside moving. For me, seeing the joy it brings to my coworkers has been the best part.” – Kids Run Club coach
“I can’t say enough positive things about Run Club. It transforms kids into thinking about being active and healthy. The weekly challenges we gave involved partners and family which got many more involved than just the club participants.” – Kids Run Club coach
“We can definitely tell a difference between Run Club days and non Run Club days. On Run Club days, the kids are just so much more ready to learn.” – Kids Run Club coach
“Several teachers in our school have come up to me and expressed their gratitude to me for leading this club, saying that their “troubled” kids have done a complete 180 and have a positive outlet to plug into now! This is all of the gratification I need to continue this journey with our school.” – Kids Run Club coach
“I learned in Run Club that if you believe in yourself sometimes it can be a success.” – Kids Run Club participant
“I learned in Run Club that even if you feel like you can’t do it, sometimes you really can.”
– Kids Run Club participant
“I learned in Run Club that no matter what you can believe in yourself to do something.” – Kids Run Club participant