As a Physical Education teacher at a Title I school in Cornelius, Oregon, Coach Ashleigh Crunican knew that her students were dealing with issues like homelessness, abusive households, and struggles with academics and self-esteem. The majority of the school population consists of first-generation American students living below the poverty line, so Coach Crunican was committed to providing a Marathon Kids run club to her students for free and pursued a grant to make that happen.
Today, during the school week, Coach Crunican’s students get 1 hour of P. E. classes. With the help of Marathon Kids donors, the Cruisers run club members now get to spend another hour together snacking, goal-setting, playing games, and logging their miles. They’re setting goals and increasing their focus and performance in school.
They’re some of the lucky ones. According to the latest research from non-profit PHIT America, American kids are ranked 47th out of 50 developed countries in fitness, and only 7% of US kids are active to CDC standards.
A health crisis is impacting America’s children and they need help.
Children from low-income families are more likely to be obese and suffer from health issues. Inner-city kids have higher rates of obesity than suburban kids, and one reason may be the lower rates of physical activity in an urban environment compared to a suburban one.
There are not a lot of options out there for busy parents working multiple jobs and just trying to get through the day. One program is starting to make an impact and looking to grow and expand into more school and communities. Marathon Kids got 85,000 kids moving last year and they want to make an even bigger impact next year. With the help of funding from corporate partners and donations, the non-profit organization hopes to continue to make an impact for America’s kids.
To learn more about the program, donate or register for a grant to help kids in your area go to https://marathonkids.org/grants.