Site Spotlight: Meredith Smith – Young Runners

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Learn more about our NYRR Youth Programs! We are sharing profiles on teachers from across the country who work first-hand with the NYRR Youth Programs that Team for Kids’ fundraising efforts support. These select individuals are not just dedicated coaches and coordinators, but also runners who will be joining our 2015 TCS New York City Marathon class and 50,000 other runners this November. Read their stories on our blog under the Site Spotlight category for insight on the NYRR Youth Programs and to hear inspirational quotes from students and parents.

In which program is your site enrolled?
Young Runners

What is the name of your site? Where are you located?
X551 Bronx Academy of Letters Bronx, NY

What was your motivation to start an NYRR Youth program at your site and how has it been implemented?
I wanted my kids to be involved in a program that supports their health and academic needs with goal setting.

My students are now able to understand why healthy eating and exercise affects their focus in school.

Can you share how your students have responded to the program and some of their favorite components?
My kids look forward to practice twice a week. I wish that we were able to give them more running time to improve their stamina. Their favorite part is creating their own team t-shirts and competing in races both inside and outside of the Bronx.

Can you share an inspiring quote from a student or parent?
Running a mile was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I may have finished last, but my goal was to finish and I reached my goal.

What do you believe are the biggest benefits of your program and the importance of the work you are carrying out?
The biggest benefit of this program on my students is that it brings both my middle school and high school students together. They set and track their goals.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
My relationship with running began at age 2 when I started playing soccer. I ran winter track in high school and fell in love with long distance training. Setting and accomplishing goals is something that has become part of my daily routine.

What is your favorite place to run and why?
My favorite place to run is in my new home in Queens. I love exploring the streets and not necessarily having a path in mind. I also enjoy running in NYC parks and along the water.

Why did you choose to run the TCS New York City Marathon and what number marathon is this for you?
I chose to run the NYC marathon because it shows integrity and dedication to both my students and my school. My students think that this is an impossible task. I run for my kids! This will be my first marathon.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I am a previous NYC teaching fellow. This is my 2nd year teaching in the Bronx at a public school. My students have low confidence levels both emotionally and academically. Finding an outlet for their frustrations allows them to succeed in the classroom.

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