We recently received these wonderful photos from the Start2Finish Running and Reading Club, illustrating the impact of their Hamilton Community Foundation grant.
Start2Finish is an after-school program operating at Prince of Wales, Dr. Edgar Davey and Bennetto schools. Addressing the need for physical activity, literacy and mentorship, these students work for most of the year towards a goal of participating in a 5k run, in the process focusing weekly on a new character quality, enjoying a snack, completing a journal and reading one on one with their coaches. These coaches, volunteers from throughout the community also become rmentors and role models and equipping children with the tools to succeed.
Highlights from the program:
- Kids from clubs at all three schools participated in the Run and Reading Challenge at York University with almost 5000 other participants from across the province.
- Before and after-program assessments by McMaster’s Child Health and Exercise Medicine Program showed significant improvement in the children’s cardiovascular fitness and their overall strength.
- Participants’ literacy scores showed a 1 to 2 full grade level improvement.
A special highlight: With the consistent encouragement and guidance of his coaches, one of the students improved his focus and motivation and began to show proficiency in both running and reading, ultimately writing a book about LeBron James and winning the 5k run in Toronto in a field of 500 children.