P3R embraces the challenge of making all kids healthy, one step at a time

by Michele Nichols

 Giving children a head start towards a healthier future

Being healthy doesn’t come easy to everyone. Children in lower-income neighborhoods may not have a safe place to play outside or have access to healthy foods because the grocery store is too far away or the corner store doesn’t carry fresh produce. If physical activity and healthy foods give children a head start toward a healthier future, how do you make sure the most vulnerable children aren’t stuck behind the start line?

P3R embraces the challenge of making all kids healthy, one step at a time.

Keeping with the mission to promote the love of running and enhancing community access to health & fitness education and activities, P3R youth programs encourage children of all ages and abilities to earn enough miles to complete a ‘marathon’ during a four month training period. In the past seven years, more than 15,000 children have completed the award-winning Kids of STEEL program.

To further the reach of Kids of STEEL and break down the economic barriers, P3R created Project R.U.N. (Reaching Underserved Neighborhoods). Our passionate staff goes into these neighborhoods to help children complete the Kids of STEEL program. We provide coaching, healthy foods, shoes, and free registration and transportation to the Toyota Pittsburgh Kids Marathon. We know that for some of these children, race day was their first trip to Downtown Pittsburgh. 

Children aren’t the only ones changed through Project R.U.N., families benefit when the child brings home a new recipe to try using inexpensive foods. Parents who run with their child at the Kids Marathon create a memory that won’t be easily forgotten. 

P3R is excited to foster these experiences that will last a lifetime and create a new generation of runners.

“I love that we can get exercise and that we get more healthy...and we can know how to exercise when we grow up, so we can stay healthy and live a long life.” - Ariana, 10, Project R.U.N. participant.

Michele Nichols
P3R Youth Program Manager

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