RUN4FUN brings program to kids virtually despite losing funding due to school shutdowns

One organization is determined to keep their activities going, making sure their students can still lace up their sneakers, run together, and get mental health support.

News 12 Staff

May 26, 2020, 12:14 PM

Updated 1,520 days ago

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One organization is determined to keep their activities going, making sure their students can still lace up their sneakers, run together, and get mental health support.
When schools closed, it put a stop to many extracurricular programs.
"When we express our feelings, like with what's going on in our lives, that's the way we can help each other,” says fifth grade student Jaimy Montoya.
Montoya is one of 2,000 students in RUN4FUN.
The fitness and mentorship organization services kids across the city, but unfortunately lost all its funding after schools closed in March.
"The funding from the program was halted, so if we weren't delivering programming to schools, the schools were not paying us,” says Nicoletta Nerangis, founder of RUN4FUN.
Even the organization's founder was furloughed, though for her, volunteering for her own company wasn't even a question.
"It's my life, I mean, I couldn't do anything else but RUN4FUN, and it's for the kids,” says Nerangis.
She says she was focused on securing grants to keep programming going at a time when physical activity and mental health are that much more important.
"So we started our weekly sessions virtually, and it's been incredible. We're bringing them all together, everyone sees each other’s faces,” says Nerangis.
Participates say they especially appreciate being able to say their RUN4FUN cheer each time.
"We usually do it hand on top of hand, like touching each other, but online we have to like facing to the camera and put our hands up in the air,” says Montoya.
Nerangis says the plan for now is to keep on running, even if the schools stay closed.
"Perhaps programming in schools will still be closed physically, we're just working really hard around the clock to find new grants and funding,” says Nerangis.


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