Bruins on the Run, a free, after-school running and mentoring program for fifth-graders, is preparing for its 3rd season. After much success in its first two seasons, the BPS Foundation intends to again offer the program all all six BPS elementary schools.
The program started as a partnership with Run the Streets, offered at three elementary schools, and funded by seed money from a collaboration grant from the Bartlesville Community Foundation. Since its inception, it has grown into a much larger program. Now offered at all six elementary schools the BPS Foundation sustains the funding of the program through individual donations and local grants. Students run with their teacher mentors after school three days a week, participate in a local 5K mid-season, and wrap up their seven-week experience by running in the Woolaroc 8K in October. The BPS Foundation covers the cost of shoes, t-shirts, and race registrations for all student participants.
Many of the students in the program have never run before, yet they finish the seven week program completing an 8K. In addition to observing transformations in students’ physical health, outcomes include an increase in students’ confidence and their ability to support their peers, and an improvement in their classroom behavior. Moreover, the program gives teachers and students the valuable opportunity to engage with each other outside of the classroom. Last fall, Bruins on the Run received state recognition from the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence as an Outstanding Program.
The sustainability and expansion of the program depends on continued support from our community. A $50 donation pays for a student’s pair of shoes; $250 covers all program costs for a student. To donate, make a check payable to “BPSF” at 1100 S. Jennings, Bartlesville Ok 74003, noting “Bruins on the Run” in the memo line, donate online at bpsfoundation.org/donate, or call our office 918-336-8600 ext 3523 for more information.
Written for the BPS Foundation by high school intern, Eli Winter