In its second year,the ING Run For Something Better School Awards Program, led by financial services leader ING in partnership with the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE), is helping to introduce fourth- through eighth-grade students across the country to the benefits of running and active lifestyles through school-based running programs.
Gettys Middle School will receive $2,000 in funding to support a minimum of an eight-week running program that will conclude with a culminating running event in celebration of the students’ achievements. Schools can
download unique running lesson plans developed by NASPE and based on the National Standards for Physical Education (NASPE, 2004) to serve as the foundation of the running program or to supplement an existing school program. Other program materials, such as sample eight-week training plans, distance logs and a running journal, will aid in the development of running skills and preparation for a culminating running event.
“ING is pleased to provide grants to schools across the nation to help them engage students in healthy lifestyles changes, personal development, goal-setting and group participation,” said Rhonda Mims, president of the ING Foundation and senior vice president, ING’s Office of Corporate Responsibility and Multicultural Affairs. “Understanding the connection between student achievement and physical well being, we are committed to making it easier for educators to empower their students to achieve a better future. ING Run For Something Better allows us to make a positive impact on educators and their students.”
Grant awards were available in all states and the District of Columbia to elementary or middle schools for running programs that targeted fourth- through eighth-grade students. Over 350 schools applied for the ING Run For Something Better School Awards Program. A NASPE review board consisting of 190 teachers and education administrators reviewed all applications.
In 2009, the ING Run For Something Better School Awards Program awarded 50 grants to schools in 22 states providing 2,804 students the opportunity to discover running as a fun and easy way to increase physical activity and learn how to make healthy lifestyles choices. Students participating in the program ran a total of 98,146 miles – that’s almost four times around the world!
“NASPE has seen first-hand the positive, direct impact this program is having on students nationwide,” explains NASPE Executive Director Charlene Burgeson. “Data submitted to NASPE from participating schools showed an average 16.6% increase in aerobic cardiovascular endurance in students from the start to the conclusion of these running programs. NASPE is proud to be part of an effort that is making real changes in the lives of our nation’s youth, giving them the opportunities and tools needed to build a foundation for healthy and active lives.”