Program History

STRIDE was started in Chester County Pennsylvania in the Fall of 2009. STRIDE was born out of demands for a boys running program to coincide with the very popular national girls program. Parents and community members saw what this program did for girls and felt that there was a need for something comparable for the boys.

During the summer of 2009, a group of invested individuals convened to brainstorm ideas & research to develop a comprehensive program where boys in grades 3-5 could learn life lessons and develop physically with a focus on fun.  In the fall of 2009, our STRIDE program began with 15 excited boys at Greenwood Elementary School in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, and has continued to grow.

Since, we have made several revisions and improvements to the curriculum developing three full elementary level curriculum, developed a middle school curriculum, and in the summer of 2013 launched the STRIDE program nationally.  Currently, STRIDE operates in 9 different states with its strongest presence in Pennsylvania and North Carolina. To learn more about how to bring STRIDE to your community, CLICK HERE.  

How STRIDE Works

STRIDE meets twice a week for a total of 10 weeks, with trained volunteer coaches.  Each session lasts for 75 minutes and includes a lesson/discussion, a game/activity, and a running workout. 

Each lesson is designed to encourage interactive discussions & activities focused on developing positive character, including being a good friend, making good decisions, living a healthy lifestyle, goal setting, being a team player, and many more. 

Through each lesson, discussion, activity, and workout, the boys learn to work with, understand, and encourage each other...rather than compete as they train and prepare for the culminating celebration - the YMCA STRIDE 5K Challenge (or a local 5K decided upon by that chapter).

At the completion of the 10-week program, the boys participate in a 5K with a STRIDEr (an adult who has committed to run the 5K with him) in a celebration designed to boost confidence and rally around achieving his own personal best.