Bring a Kids Run Club to Your Community!

Join the Movement!

Every spring and fall, schools from all over West Virginia gear up for the Kids Run Club season. This free program is designed to get kids active in a structured and safe environment while building their confidence in physical activity. Many kids in West Virginia don’t have the opportunity to participate in sports or other extracurricular activities, and the Kids Run Club program aims to fill that gap for families throughout the state. Read more about the Kids Run Club program and its history here

What is a Kids Run Club?

When the organization began in 2015, Active SWV saw the need for a plug-and-play program that anyone could feel comfortable leading, and that contained program elements that would get kids active and teach them healthy skills. With that in mind, Active SWV developed the Kids Run Club program to provide schools with a free and structured curriculum to start run clubs for kids after or before school. Since then, the Kids Run Club program has been in over 50 schools throughout the state, teaching kids warm-up exercises, running workouts, game play, stretches, and most importantly, that being active is fun!

The program is led by volunteers at schools according to a schedule that works for them. Most clubs practice for an hour once a week for 6-8 weeks at a time, and encourage kids to be active with a buddy at home on days they don’t have practice. 

How Do I Start a Kids Run Club?

If you have teacher and/or parent volunteers who are motivated to start a running club for kids but don’t know where to begin, Active SWV is here to help. Our Kids Run Club mini-grant allows schools to start a Kids Run Club for the first time, or support an Active SWV Kids Run Club that’s already going. 

Do you want to see a Kids Run Club at your school? Apply for the Kids Run Club mini-grant! When awarded, schools will receive training, an activity curriculum and resources, support from Active SWV, and funding to augment the club. Read more and find the application form here.

Why Should I Start a Kids run Club?

So why should you start a spring Kids Run Club? Don’t take it from us, read what some of our past and present Kids Run Club coaches had to say about their experience!

“[The mini-grant funds] helped with incentives and snacks. Some of our kids were the ones that don’t get in the treasure box often, didn’t make a sports team or cheerleading team, or have parents that don’t usually sign them up to play sports outside of the school system. This gave them opportunities they didn’t have before.”– Amber Hart, Ridgeview Elementary

“This running club services some students with special needs, so they cannot participate in regular sports. They were thrilled to have “team” shirts for the first time.”– Stacie Laudermilt, Hilltop Elementary

“It was a wonderful experience. I loved how organized Active was with their handbook and detailing how to set up a Run Club. I had never set one up before and our kids thoroughly enjoyed it. I would volunteer again because we all enjoyed it so much and it is good for our students’ physical as well as emotional health.”– Amber Hart, Ridgeview Elementary

“I absolutely love having the opportunity to offer Kids Run Club to the students at Richmond! This gives students a different venue to discover strengths and learn lifelong healthy habits. This year we had a student that has difficulty with behavior in the classroom. He was a different child during run club. He often stood out as a leader doing what he was supposed to do, working hard and serving as an encourager to others! We had lots of good conversations with all our students about accomplishing ‘hard things!’” – Jennifer Cochran, Richmond Elementary

“This was such a wonderful experience for our school and myself. This gave kids an opportunity to be more active while also being more positive to their peers. The parents absolutely loved this and kids were talking about joining next year! I am definitely going to volunteer and do it in the fall next year!” – Shannon Cooper, Nichols Elementary

“I would volunteer again definitely! I am a morning person and even when I was younger, I would have loved a program like this. The participants that came every day, really liked coming to school earlier. We spoke about getting up early before school, work, etc. so you have the rest of your day. If you exercise in the morning, it gets your day off to a good start.”– Terry Mullen, Criss Elementary

“It is my favorite part of the week LOL. I’ve gotten to know the younger students, so it helps me feel more connected to the student body that is on the lower floor. I don’t see them often enough to know them otherwise. Now, I can greet them by name when they are excited to see me.” – Stacie Laudermilt, Hilltop Elementary

“Run Club has built confidence in students that are not interested in athletics but love to run and play. I love that I can interact in a different capacity than the usual principal role. The students love to run and learn about healthy habits. I love the enthusiasm and the positive interaction of the students with each other.” – Jenny Harden, Rupert Elementary

When we have our fun runs we will have teachers come to see their students and families. It has helped add a special event to our school community and we are all so happy we can do it!” – Christopher Meadows, Bluefield Intermediate