sole train: boston runs together
[de]constructing the [im]possible through running
Sole Train is a community building and mentoring program that uses running as a vehicle for setting and achieving seemingly impossible goals.
Sole Train connects 600 students (Young Soles) in grades 4-12 with 150 adult volunteers (Old Soles), 50% of whom are school staff, at 30 schools across Boston. Sole Train school clubs practice twice a week during the school year and come together for community building events and races, leading up to Sole Train’s culminating goal race: Boston’s Run to Remember, a five-mile race or half marathon.
students of color often lack access to running and its benefits to the mind, body, and soul.
In his book, Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, Dr. John Ratey notes that “when students…go for (even) a mile run in gym, they are more prepared to learn in their (other) classes: their senses are heightened; their focus and mood are improved; they’re less fidgety and tense; and they feel more motivated and invigorated.” “The population segments of youth with lowest levels of physical activity and fitness also have least access to school-based physical activity opportunities and resources.” (Basch, 2011)
Sole Train provides access to safe and supportive running communities where youth gain the physical benefits of movement and improve their SEL skills in three domains:
• BEING: choosing courage and building confidence
• DOING: setting goals and achieving the impossible
• RELATING: connecting with others and creating communities
Sole Train's impact
Youth survey results showed the following gains:
increased confidence in goal-setting
increased confidence in taking on hard challenges
were interested in joining Sole Train or another supportive community next year
average percentage increase in SEL skills by youth who began the year with lower SEL competencies
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