The bitter 37 degree weather that kissed the air on the morning of November 15, 2014 did not put a dent on the plans to have a successful run.
Participants showed up in layers of clothing to shield themselves from the cold air but were all smiles about today's events. Each year the Boys and Girls Club of Newark hosts a 5k run to raise money for literacy. The BCGN's mission is to provide services for the community that schools are not providing or help fill in the gaps where the school system may fall short.
In 2013 43% of Newark students failed their state literary exams. The monies raised from this run will assist in providing after school enrichment programs. The old BCGN has transitioned from a sports and pool facility to a family orientated environment. Here children are not only offered assistance with homework, but also receive academic support to compliment the classroom schedule. They're offered comprehensive dental care and exposure to modern technology.
The BGCN mission is to provide a safe environment where they can provide children with programs that nurture their growth by incorporating family involvement as well as the school administration.
Today's 5K run and the huge smiles on the children's face shows that the BGCN in heading in the right direction.
Jane Lopez is a member of The Citizens Campaign's Newark City Storyteller Bureau, dedicated to telling the stories of citizen leadership and showcasing civic innovation.