United Way of Douglas County received a $3,000 grant from University of Kansas men's basketball coach Bill Self’s Assists Foundation. The grant will help support marathon clubs at Lawrence elementary schools.
Marathon clubs provide students with an opportunity to walk or run before or after school with the goal of reaching the distance of a marathon — 26.2 miles — by the end of the school year. Clubs typically meet once or twice a week and are led by volunteers. When a student reaches his or her goal, they are recognized for their achievement.
There are at least nine Lawrence elementary schools that have marathon clubs; together, they have about 1,000 students participating.
The grant will be used to implement the StrideTrack scanning system at Deerfield, Woodlawn and Cordley elementary schools. The electronic scanning system will help increase the sustainability of the marathon clubs by automatically compiling completed miles, reducing volunteer time, and giving participants the ability to obtain login codes to monitor their progress electronically.
Alicia Erickson, an AmeriCorps member at the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, wrote the grant in conjunction with Lori Johns, program director of United Way Douglas County’s Roger Hill Volunteer Center. Johns also is chair of the Deerfield marathon club.