Hi, as a middle school teacher and wrestling coach at an inner-city school, finding students who can afford to participate in programs that are not free or provided for is nearly impossible. Most students own a pair of crocs or shoes for school and that is it. They wear jeans to practice because their shorts are in the laundry, which cannot be done yet because mom cannot afford to get it done by Monday morning. Sports teams for the schools provide everything an athlete would need to participate from shoes to competition gear but if students wish to do anything outside of that or official school events, asking kids to come prepared is just not possible in most circumstances.
This past week, I started a program at our middle school to get our kids active and physically fit. Currently, I have 20 middle school students who attend our "After-School Fitness Club''. My students and those I do not currently teach who have joined the club showed up the first day to "run" in Jeans and shirts, hoodies and crocs, pajama pants and slides. I cannot even think about these wonderful young people training for a 5km race, let alone competing in one, with what they wore to practice last Monday.
What are the kids striving for? A race, in late May, at a local 5km run/walk. The kids are excited and the school is excited. I already have a team of teachers willing to run or walk with our kids if they achieve their training goal and make it to the race. The school will provide us with transportation and throw a celebration after the race for the kids, but everything else is on me.
The training will be hard for kids who have never run, they are expected to run 3 days a week for 30 minutes a day. They will be completing a Couch to 5km training plan that will give them 9 weeks to prepare. I believe in them and so far they believe in themselves, help me make this a reality for them.
This is where you come in, those seeing this donation drive, this gofundme. I have never done this before and I am lost, but here goes. Any money raised will go to the following:
- First and foremost, shoes. Our students need proper running shoes. These are expensive and a good pair of running shoes can run 50$ a piece, just for kids' sizes, and some of our middle schoolers already wear adult 12 shoes.
- If we reach our first goal, next is athletic shorts and T-Shirts, one pair for each student.
- Finally, if we reach the above goals, the rest of the money is going straight to the kids in the form of anything they need to train. Water bottles, snacks, gym bags, you name it. Anything I can keep in my classroom that saves the kids from having to worry if they can show up that day or not because they forgot something at home or were too embarrassed to ask.
I promised our kids if they showed up every day, so far 3 days this week, I would find a way to get them what they need to succeed. This is it.