It’s April, which means the Kids Run Club season is starting up again! Many schools are returning to the program including Fayetteville, Valley, Birch River, Mount Nebo, Zela, Coal City, Ghent, Mabscott, Marsh Fork, the REACH Home-school Group, Stanaford, Shady Spring, and Fairdale Elementary. There are also six new groups joining the Active SWV Kids Run Club community! Welcome to Stratton Elementary, Jumping Branch Elementary, Hollywood Elementary, Crescent Elementary, Mount Lookout Elementary, and the SALS Beards Fork After School Group.
Despite offering other sports in the spring, Raleigh County continually has the most Kids Run Clubs of any of our four counties. This season three new schools added to those numbers – Stratton, Hollywood, and Crescent Elementary. Teacher Jennifer Wooton at Stratton Elementary saw the color Fun Run at Mabscott last Spring, and knew that she wanted to start the program at her elementary school as well. She has recruited volunteer help from within the school, and they have over 20 kids signed up to participate this season.
Also in Raleigh County, Hollywood Elementary is trying out the Kids Run Club program for the first time as well. PE Teacher Kathryn Daniel did a track program with the elementary aged kids years ago, and wanted to get something like that going again. Active SWV’s Kids Run Club program seemed like a good fit, and she has recruited volunteer help from parents, staff, and faculty to run practices both before and after school.
The third new Raleigh County school is Crescent Elementary! Parent Amanda Baker was instrumental in starting the program at the school, saying “I want to provide an encouraging, motivating environment for kids to fall in love with exercise and running, and be a part of something at Crescent”. Despite the school not having much on campus space for the kids to run, Amanda got some help from fellow parents and they plan to do some safe sidewalk running in a quiet neighborhood loop behind the school. Amanda was already familiar with Active SWV and the departments within – she is also involved with Active SWV’s Workplace Wellness Program through her job with the New River Community and Technical College when she heard about the Kids Run Club program.
Nicholas County is home to Active SWV’s second highest number of Kids Run Club participants, right behind Raleigh. PE teacher Carrie Ciliberti at Mount Lookout Elementary wanted to try something new with the kids, partnering with Active SWV to pilot the first ever Kids Hiking Club. She was inspired to start this initiative after observing how much kids enjoyed being on the trails, and how many of them had never been out to hike on them before. With this new Kids Hiking Club opportunity, Active SWV is excited to not only expose kids to the value of physical activity, but also show them all the amazing outdoor possibilities available right in their backyard!
In Fayette County, the Beards Fork After School Program at the Southern Appalachian Labor School building (SALS) gives kids aged from elementary up to high school a place to go once the school day is over. SALS volunteers Latoya Ray and Artie Mullins were very receptive to the Kids Run Club program, and are excited to implement it in their curriculum. Artie expressed why he wanted to start the program with the group, saying “I have a keen interest in getting kids outside and away from electronic and gaming devices, for the promotion of health and other cognitive abilities”.
And finally in Summers County, teachers Amy Miller and Haley Lane at Jumping Branch Elementary are working to start just the second ever Kids Run Club in the area! Amy initially saw some information on Active SWV, and was excited about the prospect of starting a Kids Run Club at the elementary school. Hinton Area Elementary in Summers county has had a successful Kids Run Club in the past, and with the addition of Jumping Branch Elementary, Active SWV is excited to be able to offer the Kids Run Club opportunity to more kids in the Summers County area!
Happy running, everybody!
Interested in volunteering with a Kids Run Club, or want to start one at your school? contact India at [email protected] to get started!Share