Partnering for the Inclusion of Youth Health and Fitness
In 2017, NCHPAD sought to close the gap on knowledge translation by applying the newly formulated GRAIDs (Guidelines Recommendations, Adaptations Including Disability) to current evidence-based programs working nationally across the U.S. to make them inclusive of all individuals. Two programs that showed exemplary success by taking our inclusion strategies and their newly adapted curriculums all the way to implementation in less than a year were USA Track and Field’s RunJumpThrow program and Girls on the Run International. These two national partners worked alongside NCHPAD to demonstrate successful implementation of their new curriculums in unique ways.
USA Track and Field’s RunJumpThrow Partnership Update
USA Track and Field, along with Hersey, partnered to create RunJumpThrow (RJT), a hands-on learning program that introduces students age 7-12 to the foundational skills of all sports through running, jumping, and throwing. The RJT curriculum offers twenty stations to choose from and culminates in a noncompetitive track meet where youth can apply new skills and celebrate their achievements.
After adapting the RJT curriculum to be inclusive, NCHPAD partnered with Lakeshore Foundation and RJT to host the first ever inclusive RJT event. NCHPAD championed the event by bringing in five local schools to take part in this historic occasion. Schools in attendance at this inaugural affair ranged from inner city, rural, and ones that uniquely serve students with disabilities. These schools represented over 300 students and culminated in a beautiful blend of abilities, ethnicities, and backgrounds. The diverse array of schools and youth present at this event was a testament to the impact of how the new inclusive program will have on hundreds and thousands of youth moving forward. In the press release, USATF CEO Max Siegel stated, “Being physically active provides the cornerstone for a healthy lifestyle, and RunJumpThrow now has the capability to teach all kids the importance and fun of track and field, no matter their athletic ability. USATF is grateful for the opportunity to coordinate efforts with Lakeshore and NCHPAD in this endeavor.”
Click here to view the press release in its entirety.
Watch the video here
Girls on the Run International Partnership Update
Girls on the Run International, a youth program serving over a million girls in all 50 states, is one of NCHPAD’s shining stars when it comes to partnerships. Girls on the Run uses running to motivate girls, encourage lifelong health and fitness, and build confidence through accomplishment. Set to the task of accepting the inclusion adaptations for their curriculum, Girls on the Run has gone beyond our initial ask and sought out inclusion on all levels. They have completely embraced NCHPAD and our contributions to making them a fully inclusive organization, and their passion to empower young girls has matched their passion to make sure they include all girls. Their inclusion statement states, “Girls on the Run believes that all communities should have access to our programs. We strive to eliminate barriers to participation, to continue creating programming that engages all communities, to be intentional about staff and volunteer diversity, and to promote a culture of inclusion across the organization.”
With an inclusion curriculum guide in hand, Girls on the Run is currently piloting their inclusive program in 14 of their councils with the capacity to reach over 16,000 girls in the pilot program alone. NCHPAD has provided numerous trainings not only to these pilot councils but to the headquarters staff as a whole, guaranteeing disability awareness by all staff. Most recently, Girls on the Run hosted a national summit with over 500 in attendance, and the CEO, Elizabeth Kunz mentioned NCHPAD and inclusion in the opening session. Girls on the Run also invited NCHPAD staff to conduct an educational session at the summit on disability awareness and this pilot program. The 14 pilot councils have launched the new curriculum starting in February 2018 and are excited to receive feedback from these councils to build the best capacity of inclusion within the organization and programs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also featured the work Girls on the Run has done on inclusion during their recognition of National Physical Fitness and Sports Month Feature. View the CDC article here.
This Girls on the Run pilot program was also highlighted in the Alliance for a Healthier Generation campaign, #girlsAre. Check out the campaign by clicking here, and watch a video highlight of the program implementation on a local level here.
NCHPAD appreciates the work Girls on the Run and USATF RunJumpThrow have both done toward inclusion, and we look forward to our future work together.