Now that we’ve been around for awhile, we’ve seen lots of great ways schools are getting kids active.  We want to support those projects in a BIG way, and encourage schools to think big as well!

This is just one example of some of the large-scale projects we’ve funded through our Adopted Schools program over the last five years.  How cool is this?  Thanks to the team at Midvale Elementary and the YMCA for helping bring this project to fruition.

Midvale’s swim program was made possible by a gift from Sagacious Consultants, 2014 race entries earned by Midvale students, and 5% of our 2014 race revenue, for a grand total of about $5,000.

Since 2012, our Adopted Schools program has sought to level the playing field for schools in our community serving kids with the greatest financial need.  The link between poverty and obesity is significant, and by supporting schools with the highest percentage of kids on free and reduced lunch, we hope to bolster efforts in these schools to instill healthy habits and opportunities.

Each year, we picked five schools in Dane County that were on the top of the list when it came to students on free and reduced lunch.  Then, we reached out to staff at their school and made a deal – if they sent 10 kids to our events throughout the year, we’d give them 5% of our annual race revenue.

Besides our initial goal of supporting these schools, we also hoped to see participation among the students at these schools increase, and stay at a higher level due to the kids’ positive experiences at the events.  It turns out that was only the case about 50% of the time…which led our Board of Directors to the question:

What should we be doing with this chunk of funding each year to make the most impact, and raise awareness of our organization?

We decided that we’re going to have schools apply for these funds, which totals about $15,000.  We will fund 3-5 projects per year, and are coming up with a grant application to determine how many kids this will reach, and how the school and families plan to carry out the project.

The goal is to help fund big projects that make big impact, and help generate excitement among the community about health and fitness.  We can’t wait to see what projects you have going on!

For more information and to stay connected, please visit our Grants page for updates.  Applications will be due at the end of October, and will be announced in November!