Our History

Our founder Brian Warren always says that a truly successful overnight success is years in the making. At Start2Finish, our team has worked for over a decade to champion the educational rights of children in Canada.
Step back in time with us as we go down memory lane. 

 
 

It started with a backpack...

For years, Brian Warren had a vision that all children in Canada would have the tools to succeed. The first step in his dream was taken in 2000 when he founded the Start2Finish program (then KidsFest) by distributing backpacks filled with quality schools supplies and books to children in at-risk schools. In addition to this he hosted literacy festivals across the GTA called "Kidsfests". However, after doing more research and gleaning experience from working with kids in both the Unites States and Canada, he knew that in order to meet his goal -- he needed to create a weekly program that would mentor and prepare kids. Supporters like retired Olympic marathoner Silvia Ruegger, Alison Rochon, and others were crucial in helping put together a comprehensive 32-week program of fitness and running. The program became known as: The Running & Reading Club and was the beginning of what would be known as Start2Finish's Fitness/Literacy model. 


The Launch of the Running & Reading Clubs...

In January 2004, the first pilot Running & Reading Club began at Chester Le Junior Public School in Scarborough. With the success of that club Start2Finish was able to extend it's reach and today we have 33 Clubs across the country, including several on Native reservations in Canada’s far North. By 2018-19, Start2Finish’s goal is to have a total of 50 Running & Reading Clubs in operation. 

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The Introduction of peer-to-peer mentoring...

From his experience in sports and teaching, Brian Warren knew that peer-to-peer mentorship was a vital component to creating change in the lives of children. So, in the fall of 2005 the Junior Coach Program became a natural extension for kids who were graduating from grade 6 and wanted to give back. This mentoring program is for kids in grades 7-9 and helps them move through the Start2Finish Pathway.


The final piece of the pathway...

After the success of the Running & Reading Program and The Junior Coach Program, Brian knew that it was important to support the alumni of the program with financial support. So, in 2008 the final brick in the Start2Finish Pathway of Hope was laid when the Start2Finish Board officially launched the Pathway of Hope Scholarship Program. A Scholarship Committee directed by Board Members and other stakeholders is solely responsible for exclusively receiving and vetting applicants who have graduated from the Running & Reading Club Program and/or the Junior Coach Program. 

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