Start2Finish has seen significant results in at-risk communities across Canada where we have introduced our programs. Here are the assessments as evaluated by our research team:
Children selected to participate in the Running & Reading Club are among those in most dire need of enhanced literacy support; however, a comparison of academic grades during the 2012–2013 school year showed that 87 percent of students stayed at letter grade, or improved 1 to 2 full grade levels in literacy. Educators have also noted improvements in the literacy skills of their students, as well as increased confidence in their reading abilities and a more positive attitude towards reading as a result of their participation in the Running & Reading Club.
2. PHYSICAL FITNESS
Start2Finish has developed an exciting partnership with Dr. Mark Tremblay and his team, the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group (HALO), based out of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Research Institute. Dr. Tremblay is world-renowned as a pioneer and leader in evaluating fitness levels in children. To begin implementation of the partnership, a pilot study was done at the Start2Finish Running & Reading Club in Waterloo.
With guidance and assistance from HALO, several Fitnessgram tests were used to measure aerobic capacity and muscle strength and endurance. Measurements taken over a four-month period demonstrate significant improvement in both areas of fitness for children in the Start2Finish Running & Reading Club.
Overall percentage gains in fitness are as follows:
Aerobic Capacity: 28%
Abdominal Core Strength: 25%
Upper Body Strength: 31%
3. SOCIAL INTERACTION & COMMUNITY DYNAMICS
Where Start2Finish has made an investment in communities, positive changes in behavior and social dynamics are evident. One example is Little Grand Rapids, a First Nations community in Northern Manitoba. In partnership with the RCMP, Start2Finish launched a Running & Reading Club in Little Grand. Since the start of the program, the RCMP detachment has reported an 82% decrease in youth crime, which they attribute directly to the development of meaningful relationships through the program. Constables Evan and Jack were being addressed as “Coach Evan” and “Coach Jack,” breaking the walls of anger and mistrust between officers and the youth in the community. The Start2Finish program has provided a vehicle through which these two groups can make a meaningful connection, see each other in a positive light, and develop relationships of trust, respect, and appreciation.
How does this information benefit Canadian children? What is your return on investment?
The Start2Finish Fitness Literacy Model is a comprehensive, strategic approach that produces long-term social change.
Start2Finish has a $17 social return on investment for every $1 donated.
Start2Finish has empowered 70,000 Canadian children living in poverty.