Nonprofit Wellness Program for Boys Builds Infrastructure to Support National Growth.
Charlotte, NC; August 2017 — Let Me Run is a nonprofit wellness program with a comprehensive curriculum that applies the power of running to develop boys’ psychological, emotional and social health, in addition to their physical health. Let Me Run is proud to announce the hires of Amber Gibbs as Columbus Program Coordinator and Bob Osner-Hackett as Kalamazoo Program Coordinator.
Since beginning in Charlotte, NC in 2009, Let Me Run has reached over 15,000 4th – 8th grade boys across 27 states and counting. And since the program piloted in Columbus in 2014, the region has served over 375 boys on 33 teams.
To her new role at Let Me Run Columbus, Amber brings over 16 years of experience as a nonprofit and association manager, providing team leadership, program development and fundraising support.
Amber says, “After being introduced to the lessons of Let Me Run, I can already see how emotions and communication are handled differently with my young son and daughter and how it impacts them in different ways. I am encouraged to know that Let Me Run addresses the "boy code" and strives to foster the emotional intelligence of boys. My favorite part of Let Me Run is that it encourages boys to be themselves, and that's exactly what I want for my kids — to know that they are special, unique, and valued just the way they were created.”
Like Amber, Bob also believes in the transformative power of the LMR program. “As a teacher, one of the goals of my life has been to help others reach beyond what they believe they can achieve. I originally joined the Let Me Run team as a volunteer to be involved with the school and community. I have stayed with Let Me Run because it is an amazing organization that gives boys a chance to flourish in a setting that allows them to be truly be themselves. I believe in the program and have seen firsthand the positive impact it has on the lives of the boys in our community.”
After serving on the Let Me Run Kalamazoo Advisory Council for over a year, Bob has transitioned to his new role as Kalamazoo Program Coordinator, bringing over 15 years of experience as an educator to his position.
Let Me Run Kalamazoo has served over 475 boys on 47 teams since the program piloted in the region in 2014, and with the addition of Bob to the team, the region is poised for growth.
Both Amber and Bob will help meet the demand for the Let Me Run program across the country. With a national growth rate of over 60% per year, the need for Let Me Run is obvious. Challenging the negative pressures society places on boys to “man up” and hide their emotions, Let Me Run’s holistic curriculum encourages positive emotional, social, and physical development with lesson topics including emotional expression, anti-bullying, teamwork and healthy eating. Upon completion of the seven-week season, Let Me Run boys compete in a celebratory 5k race and leave the program with a sense of accomplishment, a deeper belief in self, and a greater appreciation for their peers.
More About Let Me Run
Man up. Boys don’t cry. Don’t be a pansy. Boys hear these messages, and worse, on a daily basis. When the only acceptable emotions are anger and pride, the only possible outcomes are illness, addiction, and violence. This mandated performance of hyper-masculinity prevents close relationships by masking boys’ authentic selves. And it’s killing them. Four U.S. boys commit suicide every single day. We have to break this Boy Code, and Let Me Run is doing just that.
Let Me Run is a nonprofit wellness program that inspires boys to be themselves, be active, and belong. With a comprehensive curriculum that applies the power of running, we encourage boys to develop their psychological, emotional and social health, in addition to their physical health. And we’re seeing results. According to an evaluation by the Institute to Promote Athlete Health & Wellness of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Let Me Run significantly improves boys’ attitudes and behaviors associated with healthy masculinity, increases vigorous physical activity levels, improves social competence, and reduces screen time on school days.
Twice a week for seven weeks, two trained volunteer coaches lead an elementary or middle school team through practice. Designed to amplify confidence, self-expression, and respect for others, each practice includes a lesson from the Let Me Run curriculum that incorporates running, games and activities. Each fall and spring season culminates in a 5k race festival that celebrates each boy’s personal growth.
Join the movement to break the Boy Code at LetMeRun.org.