Clive Community Foundation: Invested in Building Confidence in Our Children
The YMCA does.
That’s why they provide two after-school programs for elementary kids: Girls On The Run Program of Central Iowa, and STRIDE for boys. These are the only national physical activity-based positive youth programs for inspiring girls and boys to be joyful, healthy, and confident.
“These programs equip participants with tools to use outside of running, such as standing up for themselves and others, being a stander-by instead of a bystander, and practicing empathy, inclusion, and acceptance,” said Christa VanderLeest, YMCA senior program director. The age range of participants is 3rd through 5th grades, which VanderLeest says is a critical time for girls, in particular. “Girls On The Run addresses the whole girl when she needs it the most, strengthening her confidence at a time when society begins to tell her she ‘can’t’.”
With a grant program focused on supporting three key areas— Quality of Life, Health and Wellness, and Collaboration—the Clive Community Foundation awarded YMCA with a 2019 grant to support these programs. Held at Crestview Learning Academy, more than 60 Clive youth were registered and $2,491 in financial assistance was provided for kids who otherwise wouldn’t be able to participate.
Unfortunately, Girls on the Run and STRIDE were casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Spring 2020 programs were cancelled. But because of the Foundation funding, all registration costs were reimbursed to participant families and program planning expenses were still covered, avoiding funding shortages for future program sessions. With more than 1,000 kids participating each year, continuation of the programming is important for community youth.
Thank you to Clive Community Foundation donors and supporters for investing in positive life skills learning our youth need to succeed!