“Whether urban or suburban, every child deserves and equal education,” Harper stated. “Growing up in poverty can directly affect whether or not a child gets a great education. We are removing every barrier, from healthcare to hunger, that may prevent a child from optimal academic performance.”
By serving the whole child, the heart and soul of the community is being transformed. Great efforts are transforming underserved elementary schools one student at a time. Because of the amazing staff and intentional strategy to assure every child gets an equal education, kids are seeing that the future can be bright.
In working with the kids over the past couple of years, we have discovered that due to the sociological battle they live in every day, there are a number of things they have never done or seen. We have been able to identify 8 profound “I Nevers” in which they face.
1. Been out of my neighborhood
2. Been out of California
3. Been camping
4. Seen the ocean
5. Owned a pair of NIKE’S (or new pair of shoes)
6. Stayed in a hotel
7. Seen a college campus
8. Believed college was possible….
We decided to take a stand against society and show the kids that these items are all within their reach. Out of this birthed the “I Never Trip”. In June of 2009 we took 20 of our Be Change runners from Oak Ridge Elementary, who demonstrated the best attitude, attendance and academic achievement on a trip of a lifetime.
The Nike headquarters as well as University of Oregon heard about our efforts and invited us on a personal tour of their facilities. While on the tour at Nike, the kids each received a brand new pair of Nike’s and were invited to participate in a study.
Although the kids were excited to own their first new pair of Nike’s, the most impacting event of the trip was their tour of the mind-blowing athletic facilities of University of Oregon. While standing in the middle of the weight room, one of the kids shouted out “I want to be a Duck some day!” This was confirmation that these kids finally grasp the fact that college if possible. The trip was a success.
Since the first “I Never Trip,” we have taken students to UCLA, USC, Stanford, Cal Berkeley, and other destinations that have inspired ideas and dreams in the minds and hearts of the students.
In the effort to address and enhance the physical well being of inner city students, Be Change Run Club was introduced as a fitness and nutrition activity. Our mission is to equip our student runners to become leaders in their school and communities by emphasizing academics, attendance, and a positive attitude. Each student is taught the value of physical fitness and nutritional awareness. We currently have four Be Change Run Clubs on four different elementary schools around the Sacramento area. A large number of schools have approached us and inquired about how to get the Be Change Run Club started on their campus.
Run It Forward
Run It Forward educates on fitness, nutrition and the value of health and dental care for America’s children. RIF is where education and endurance collide. As a nonprofit, RIF stretches the limits of human endurance, tenacity and community outreach on behalf of America’s schools.
A platform for free elementary school running programs that will encourage and develop youth fitness. Project Fit running program provides an emphasis on running games and challenge courses that include track and field themes such as running, throwing, long jump, etc.