by Rosa Ramirez, Go for the Gold Campaign Manager
When Chicago Public Schools, Healthy Schools Campaign and the USDA Midwest announced the Go for the Gold campaign to support schools in meeting the HealthierUS School Challenge championed by First Lady Michelle Obama, Chicago Run was one of the initial supporters.
Alicia Gonzalez, executive director of Chicago Run, explains her readiness to join the Go for the Gold team: “The better we establish our relationships with our schools –- teachers, principals, and school staff –- the greater the impetus to improve the health of our kids. I see [Go for the Gold] as doing just that.”
Actively involved in schools throughout the under-served areas in the south, west, and north sides of Chicago, Chicago Run's programming is a great asset for schools looking to supplement physical education and increase physical activity.
Since 2008, Chicago Run has helped kids achieve fitness and have fun, 15 minutes at a time. In one of several programs it offers, Chicago Runs organizes a safe, appropriate running course on the school grounds, so students can run during recess, the lunch hour or a designated “fitness break.” The incentive-based running program also promotes digital learning through its virtual marathon database that highlights historic landmarks, nutrition, and geographical points of interest — all of which are aligned with Illinois Learning Standards.
Creating healthier school environments and, specifically, increasing opportunities for physical activity are key components of the HealthierUS School Challenge.
Have kids at your school participated in a running program? We'd love to hear about what's working for you!