Save the Children Mini-Marathon Supports Early Education Program

Claire headshotClaire Garmirian – Communications Intern, Save the Children

Westport, CT

May 22, 2013

Cheers from family and friends
greeted runners who, undeterred by rain, sprinted through the finish line at
Tod’s Point in Greenwich, Conn., on Sunday. More meaningful than the medals
received and the fast times recorded was the reason for running.

Mini-marathon 1
Children, teens and adults begin to run, walk and stroll 2.62 miles at Tod’s Point to raise funds for Save the Children’s Early Steps to School Success program.
The fifth annual Save the
Children Mini-Marathon saw children, teens, adults and even strollers covering 2.62
miles to raise funds for Save the Children’s Early Steps to School Success
program. Participants raced the clock to support literacy and early education
programs for children living in poverty throughout the United States.

The event was held by Save the
Children’s Greenwich Leadership Council and the Greenwich Track Club, along
with corporate and family sponsors.

co-chairs Marilyn Roos and Luz Agrest of the Greenwich Leadership Council began
the Mini-Marathon in 2009 to involve the Greenwich community with an
organization they cared about.

Mini-marathon 2“It
was a time when races were becoming more popular and people were interested in
racing for causes, and we felt Save the Children was a very good cause,” said

 U.S. Sen. Richard Blumethal, D-Conn., himself
a supporter of Save the Children for more than 25 years, opened the event by
presenting a proclamation from Greenwich First Selectman Peter Tesei that
declared May 19 “Save the Children’s Day.”

 “I feel a lot of love from the community,”
Roos said. “I feel like people have embraced this cause.”

race was truly a community event. It was a day when children were empowered to
help children. One young participant, upon crossing the finish line with a
friend, said, “We’ve done it! We’ve saved children.”

Mini-marathon 4Teen
involvement, in particular, was crucial for the success of the Mini-Marathon.
In the months leading to the race, members of the Greenwich Teen Council
publicized the event. After-school hours were dedicated to utilizing social
media, sending postcards to local businesses and residents, and putting up
posters. On the day of the race, the teenagers were some of the first
volunteers at the site, arriving at 7:30 a.m. to sort T-shirts, refreshments
and goody bags for the runners they later helped to register. Much of what
motivated young members like Lauren Lang, Kate Webster, Sage White and Teen
Council President Selby White to volunteer was a sense of closeness to the

[cause] is really close to us because it has to do with education and
children…and also it’s domestic, so it’s people within our country,” said Selby
Mini-marathon 5
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., second from left, with Save the Children Mini-Marathon organizers, from left, Luz Agrest, Bill Bogardus and Marilyn Roos.

at the race voiced a personal connection to early education. Bill Bogardus,
director of the Greenwich Track Club, has acted as race director every year of
the Mini-Marathon.

“I am
a teacher, and I have two little children in preschool, so it just kind of all
blends together and just makes sense,” said Bogardus, referring to this year’s
Mini-Marathon designating funding to Save the Children’s Early Steps to School
Success program. “I mean, research shows that the more kids are getting
involved in education, that if they have an early kind of jumpstart program,
they’ll be better once they get to kindergarten. And it’s all about giving them
the tools and resources to learn and experience different things at a very
early age.”

The rainy
weather Sunday did not distract Roos from the reason she and so many others put
this event together every year.

raining, but everybody is still very much in the game here, and they’re
enthusiastic and they have really had a great day and enjoyed it,” she said. “I
just hope this race continues to be an integral part of the spring in
Mini-marathon 7
Members of the Greenwich Leadership Council’s teen group, from left, Sage White, Kate Webster and Selby White, register incoming participants in the May 19 Save the Children Mini-Marathon in Greenwich.

Hopes Written Down

José Tobar

José Tobar, Sponsorship Officer

El Salvador

May 13, 2013

Having the
chance to work on translating letters between children and sponsors is kind of
like witnessing a journey between two worlds. On one hand, we have a person
who’s usually writing from a developed country.

Emerson, it is great to be your sponsor. My name is Michelle, and I hope we get
to know each other and that you reply to this letter soon. I live in California
with my two children and my little cat. We live near the San Diego beach. How
is it where you live? What are your hobbies? What do you want to be when you
grow up? ”

El_Salvador_RICA_Anita_answering_1On the other
side there is child who lives miles away from them. What bonds these two? Some
may say it is the will to lend a hand from one person to another whose needs
are greater, but I think it’s more than that. It’s a set of hopes shared by them
both; one hoping to see a change in this world and willing to do something to make
that happen and another who is just starting to live and might still not fully
understand his or her reality, just a heart full of wishes, aspirations and
goals. The basic mind of a child who knows what he or she wants to become
without considering all the obstacles that may arise.

Michelle, This is Emerson and we are very happy to meet you. I also live near
the beach! I am going to first grade and I love riding bicycle with my friends.
I want to become a doctor when I grow up and I live with my mother and grandmother.
I thank God for letting me meet you and I hope that I can meet you personally
some day. Take care, Emerson.”

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