Spokane, WA—Thousands of Spokane children are back running in after-school programs this fall, thanks to a partnership between Active4Youth—a non-profit that works to provide after-school sports programs to combat childhood obesity—and Spokane Public Schools. The Elementary Cross Country Program, which started on September 13th at all elementary schools throughout the District, runs six weeks, has two regional zone meets and culminates in the 2010 Bloomsday All-City Meet on October 18th at Comstock Park.
“This is the second year we’ve been able to offer the program,” said Mike Bresson, the founder of Active4Youth, a 501(c)(3) non-profit. “Our numbers are greater than last year, which confirms our belief that these programs are not only necessary but impacting a large number of children in our community.”
For many years elementary cross country was offered by the Spokane School District as one of their after-school programs, but those programs were cut seven years ago due to budget constraints. Active4Youth helped bring cross country back last year. The Elementary Cross Country Program continues to be a collaboration of community organizations, including the Inland Northwest Community Foundation, Spokane Public Schools and the Lilac Bloomsday Association.
“We are so fortunate to have community-minded organizations willing to provide this great opportunity to all of our students,” said Spokane Public Schools Superintendent Nancy Stowell.
Over 3,000 students District-wide are expected to participate in the program. Approximately 700 will qualify for the Bloomsday All-City Cross Country Meet. That number represents an increase from seven to ten in the number who will advance to the meet from regional zone meets. In addition, for the first time Catholic schools in Spokane and SYSA’s Mercury Athletic Club will participate in the Bloomsday All-City Meet, with the top six in each division of their qualifying races advancing to the Bloomsday All-City Meet.
“Bloomsday is really pleased to support this program again this year,” said Bloomsday Race Director Don Kardong. “This is a wonderful opportunity for kids in Spokane to get in shape and learn about distance running, and it’s also a nice complement to the Fit For Bloomsday Running and Walking Program Bloomsday offers each spring.”
Students interested in participating in the Elementary Cross Country Program should check with their school’s office to sign up.
To contact Active4Youth for more information about the program or about how to get involved, please contact Mike Bresson at 509.868.6201 or visit its web site www.active4youth.org.
About Active4Youth (A4Y)
Active4Youth is a local 501(C)(3) nonprofit that works to provide after-school sports programs for Spokane-area children to combat childhood obesity. For more information or to see how you can get involved or make a contribution, please visit Active4Youth’s website, www.active4youth.org.
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