A new year is a time to try new things…like volunteering with an Active SWV Kids Run Club! The program saw great things in 2018 with total youth participation at 1,638 kids, total volunteer participation at 190 coaches, and a total of 20 Kids Run Clubs hosted by schools and community groups across Raleigh, Summers, Nicholas, and Fayette counties.
In 2019, Active SWV wants to get even more kids active by implementing run clubs in new schools, and increasing youth participation in existing clubs. The key to this goal is more volunteers! Volunteers truly sustain and maintain the Kids Run Club program, giving kids the confidence and know-how to lead healthy lives beyond their school days.
“Not only does this volunteer position impact my life in a positive way, but it positively impacts so many students who absolutely love participating in this club” – Alexis Virtue‘
Active SWV is looking for teachers, administrators, parents, students, and community members to serve as Coaches for our Kids Run Club Program. We need YOU to help make our youth healthier and more physically active!
About Active SWV Kids Run Clubs:
The Active SWV Kids Run Clubs are designed as a free, 6-8 week program to help kids of all skill levels develop an enjoyment and understanding of exercise while learning healthy habits for life. All of Active SWV Kids Run Clubs are unique and are tailored to each school depending on the amount of space available, resources at hand, and goals of the coaches and participants. Kids Run Clubs are non-competitive and have an inclusive and supportive environment. Kids Run Club Coaches are essential to creating and maintaining this positive environment for growth and fun! It is our goal to get kids excited and engaged with physical activity, and YOU can help us accomplish this! Read more about the program here.
Why I volunteer – two Kids Run Club coaches weigh in
Many Kids Run Club coaches find their experience with the program to be incredibly rewarding, and come back to volunteer season after season. Margret Perdue has been volunteering with the Kids Run Club at Coal City Elementary for three seasons, and Alexis Virtue has headed up the Kids Run Club at Valley Elementary (VES) for three seasons as well. These veteran Kids Run Club coaches are a testament to the strong volunteer base Active SWV’s Kids Run Club program is proud to foster. We asked Margret and Alexis to share some of their experiences volunteering with their Run Clubs, and this is what they had to say:
How did you get started volunteering with the Kids Run Club?
Margret: “Another teacher at our school presented the idea to our staff. I thought that it would be a great opportunity to show students the importance of being active.”
Alexis: “Valley has had one of the longest running Run Clubs for Active SWV, so when I accepted a Physical Education position last year it became my responsibility to continue the program. I was really excited because I knew I wanted to coach as well as teach, and this was like the best of both worlds.”
What, for you, is the best part about volunteering?
M: “The best part has been seeing the joy on the students’ faces because they are having so much fun. Many of them, I don’t think, realized how much fun being active could be.”
A: “I love working with kids that are wanting to improve their skills and work towards a goal. It brings me a sense of pride to watch them smiling while being active with their friends and then having them tell me how much fun they’re having, something new they learned, or some way they’ve improved since last time. VES is lucky to have so many participants willing to work hard towards our race at the end of the season and it brings me a lot of joy hearing kids tell me how excited they are for run club to start because I know they want to exercise and are choosing to be there, learning healthy habits that will influence them the rest of their lives. My overall experience with this organization has been nothing short of amazing and rewarding!”
What’s one of your favorite moments from Kids Run Club?
M: “We have a couple of students who are not in the best physical shape. However, they never give up. They want to be able to complete all of the tasks we put before them and never complain.”
A: “The day of the race at the end of the season is always stressful but definitely is the most exciting and fun! I love watching the kids get their game face on while they’re warming up and when they line up to start. They have the biggest smiles on their faces while running with family members and friends cheering them on as they’re being bombarded with color powder!”
What advice do you have for new volunteers thinking of helping out at a Kids Run Club?
M: “Participate in the activities and have fun! The kids see you having fun and maybe even struggling on some of the activities. When they see that, it encourages the students to participate and want to do more.”
A: “Get creative and have fun! Come up with fun activities to get your runners’ heart rates up as well as their enthusiasm! It makes the kids want to participate even more If you know what they enjoy, so try to balance knowledge, games, and workouts effectively, and at the very least try to keep them moving as much as possible! Planning ahead and getting information like practice plans out to my parent volunteers at the beginning of the season saved me a lot of time during practices. And having reliable parent volunteers to help me has been a life saver!”
How do you feel volunteering has impacted your life?
M: “It has helped me focus more on being physically active for myself and with my family.”
A: “Volunteering with this program has solidified my love for teaching kids and physical activity even more. Active SWV is all about community and providing opportunities for everyone to participate in fun activities together that also promote healthy lifestyle choices. It has been such a rewarding experience to work with them through our school’s Kids Run Club. I love being able to have a positive impact on today’s youth and having the opportunity to teach them skills they will use the rest of their lives while having fun with them at the same time. Not only does this volunteer position impact my life in a positive way, but it positively impacts so many students who absolutely love participating in this club.”
How can I volunteer? – Get started as a Kids Run Club Coach today
Not a runner? Not to worry!
“The best part has been seeing the joy on the students’ faces because they are having so much fun. Many of them, I don’t think, realized how much fun being active could be.” – Margret Perdue
Coaches of all abilities have the same opportunity to serve as positive examples of healthy habits and to help get youth excited about physical activity. There is absolutely no need to consider yourself a runner! Active SWV provides in depth training for all Run Club Coaches, as well as a manual full of program plans, stretches, games, and more, guaranteed to guide you through the whole experience. And you won’t be in this alone! You be working alongside other amazing Kids Run Club Coaches and volunteers. Active SWV assists with every step of the program and gives all coaches the tools to feel confident to lead the program. All you need to bring is a positive attitude and a desire to help kids in our community get physically active!
Finding the Right Kids Run Club for You
The Active SWV Kids Run Club Program takes place in elementary and middle schools across Fayette, Nicholas, Raleigh, and Summers Counties. Different Kids Run Clubs practice throughout the week at a variety of different times, both before and after the school day. Interested volunteer coaches will be paired up with a Kids Run Club convenient for them, depending on what fits into their busy schedule!
Before the season begins, there is a roughly 40 minute Kids Run Club Coaches training where volunteers will be equipped with all the tools and information to be a successful Coach. We would like all volunteers to be able to commit to being a Kids Run Club Coach for the entire program, in order to build relationships and provide consistency for the kids! The Kids Run Club program lasts six to eight weeks, and most clubs practice once a week for 30-60 minutes.
Active SWV Kids Run Club Coaches have an incredible opportunity to make a direct impact on the lives
and health of children in our community. Building confidence, fostering a love for physical activity, instilling healthy habits, encouraging friendships, developing teamwork skills and inspiring our youth to be their best selves- these are all a small piece of the amazing things that Kids Run Club Coaches do for their participants. However, most of our Coaches find that in simply giving to their students, what they receive in return is truly just as wonderful.
Contact [email protected] for more information about volunteering with a Kids Run Club
Visit activeswv.org for more information on other free programs we offer to the community
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