RRCA Announces Criteria and Application Process for

Kids Run the Nation® Grants


Arlington, VA - In 1986, in response to the growing national concern for children’s health status in the United States, the RRCA launched their children’s running program.  Developed by a team of experts including former Olympic marathoner, Don Kardong, the program included a sixty page Teacher’s and Coach’s Curriculum Guide and a twenty page booklet about running designed for children and parents.  These materials were reprinted in 1994 and have continued to be sought after resources for over two decades.


Earlier this year, the RRCA Board of Directors along with major donors, David and Sharlee Cotter, established the Kids Run the Nation Fund to assists running clubs, events, and schools that are interested in implementing or currently have a youth running program.  This small grant program is funded by restricted contributions from RRCA members, individuals, foundations, and corporations.  Kids Run the Nation grants will be awarded on an annual basis through an application and selection process overseen by a volunteer selection committee.


“As a leader in the health and fitness industry, the RRCA has embarked on a long-term investment in promoting running as a significant opportunity to address the growing obesity epidemic with our youth,” explains Jean Knaack, RRCA executive director.  “Our goal with the Kids Run the Nation Fund is to raise awareness and provide needed resources to youth running programs around the country.  In addition, we hope to provide the national infrastructure where corporations, foundations and major donors can invest in the Kids Run the Nation Fund and ensure that their contributions are distributed appropriately to youth running programs around the country.”


In its inaugural year, the Kids Run the Nation Fund will award a total of $5000 in grants ranging from $500-$1000. Running clubs, events, or other organizations with the IRS 501(c)3 designation that organize a multi-week youth running program are eligible to apply.  Elementary and middle schools that provide an organized after-school running programs are eligible as well. 


Detailed information on the grant application criteria and what a Kids Run the Nation grant will and will not fund is outlined on the RRCA website at www.RRCA.org/programs/kids.  To apply for a Kids Run the Nation grant, organizations will need to download and complete the grant application posted at http://www.rrca.org/programs/kids/kidsrunnation.doc.  The deadline to apply for a Kids Run the Nation grant is October 31, 2007, and the grant recipients will be announced in mid-December.


Founded in 1958, the RRCA is the national association of running clubs, running events, and runners.  The mission of the RRCA is to promote long distance grassroots running as a competitive sport and healthful exercise.  The RRCA achieves their mission by promoting the common interests of its members by providing educational opportunities, programs, and services.  The organization’s membership consists of over 850 running clubs and events which comprise over 180,000 members in the US.