This spring the Bartlesville Community Foundation announced the launch of their first ever Collaborative Grant. To be eligible, applicants were required to submit proposals that demonstrated the sharing of existing resources and expertise by two or more organizations. With this $25,000 grant opportunity, the Foundation’s ultimate goal was to encourage nonprofits to consider ways they could work together to accomplish similar goals, reduce duplication, provide a higher quality of service, serve a larger percentage of the community and improve outcomes. After the receipt and diligent review of many fantastic applications, we are proud to announce the selection of “Bruins on the Run” as the 2018 Collaborative Grant recipient. Bruins on the Run is a collaboration between Bartlesville Public Schools Foundation, Richard Kane YMCA, and Run the Streets (RTS). It will also utilize the services of many other organizations and local businesses.
“We were extremely impressed by the quality of all the proposals we received. Bruins on the Run was truly the best of the best, and we are excited to fund our first collaboration grant.” – Shawn Crawford CEO, Bartlesville Community Foundation
Bruins on the Run stemmed from an idea by Wayside Principal, Ken Copeland. His vision was to form an after-school running program at his elementary school site. With the announcement of the Collaborative Grant opportunity, his idea grew into a partnership with Run the Streets and Richard Kane YMCA and lead to the addition of Richard Kane Elementary. Bruins on the Run expands an existing model developed by Run the Streets and will establish an after-school mentoring and running program for many fifth grade students in the Bartlesville Public School district. To start, this opportunity will be available for students at Richard Kane and Wayside Elementary Schools with the intent of expanding to all BPSD elementary school sites in the future.
“The ‘Bruins on the Run’ program will be yet another example of the tremendous community support our school district receives. Bartlesville Public Schools will be working with several local organizations to create a unique, healthy, and fun experience for some of our fifth grade students.” – Ken Copeland, Principal, Wayside Elementary
This new program will address the need for a no-cost after school program, physical activity, adult mentors and role models for young public school students. It is an opportunity to bring students from two different elementary schools together before they enter a common middle school. All are needs determined through communication with district administrators and parents as they work to eliminate bullying, combat mental health issues, improve physical health, and instill appropriate classroom behavior with their students. Bruins on the Run will purchase quality running shoes from Brown’s Shoe Fit for all participants as well as cover all race registration fees, provide regular snacks, and host a finish line party at the end of each session to celebrate the student’s accomplishments.
“We expect Bruins on the Run to unite our elementary schools, build relationships between mentors and students, and foster participants’ appreciation for a healthy lifestyle. We appreciate the Bartlesville Community Foundation for this opportunity and we look forward to collaborating with Run the Streets, the YMCA, and several local businesses to make this program a success.” – Blair Ellis, Executive Director, Bartlesville Public Schools Foundation.
Starting this fall, Bruins on the Run will be offered as a seven week session, culminating with the Woolaroc 8K. There will also be a four week spring session, which will wrap up with a local 5K race. During the program, participants will run with teacher and parent mentors on trails next to their respective school sites and then have the option to attend aftercare provided by the Richard Kane YMCA. Each Friday, participants from the two schools will come together at the downtown RTS facility to have a snack, socialize, go for a group run, and award weekly teammate recognition. RTS will recruit and screen current RTS youth to act as Junior Mentors for the Friday group runs. The District will give additional program details to parents of eligible students as the start date approaches.
“Bruins on the Run is a great opportunity to bring our schools together while utilizing resources already established in our community. I expect this program will have a very positive impact on our fifth graders and their mentors, and I look forward to seeing it in action. I might even have to join them for a run or two!” – Chuck McCauley, Superintendent, Bartlesville Public Schools District
Run the Streets has a component to its program that Bruins on the Run will not have – although both programs are open to all students. RTS targets students who have been involved in the juvenile justice system. However, a primary goal with Bruins on the Run is that high-risk students are identified before they make poor choices and are given the resources they need to avoid the criminal justice system in the first place. To do this, Bruins on the Run will work with elementary teachers and principals to focus on at-risk youth behavior and make a diligent effort to maintain a 2:1 runner to mentor ratio. Student behavior will be monitored by teachers and administrators to determine the impact of Bruins on the Run as well as conduct other evaluation measures with participants and mentors.
This Collaboration Grant is just one of the many ways the Bartlesville Community Foundation continues to foster its mission and the Foundation looks forward to facilitating similar opportunities in the future. The Foundation offers a place for donors to invest in the charitable organizations and causes they want to succeed today and tomorrow. By joining donors together, the Foundation can grow and invest more in the community to continue to build a better, stronger and brighter Bartlesville for everyone.