By Joe Jarosz
November 4, 2015
KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Over the past four weeks, elementary students from Scuola Vita Nuova and Gladstone Elementary have partnered with medical students from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCU) Fit Doctors Association to train for the 30th annual Cliff Hanger Run.
On the week before the big race, representatives from KCU provided all 55 students participating in the training sessions and registered to run with a new pair of running shoes. Although the students knew about the gift, many reacted with surprised looks on their face when they saw how cool the shoes were.
Sara Selkirk, executive director of community and student affairs for KCU, said since 2009, KCU students have been partnering with area elementary schools to assist with after school programs. The Cliff Hanger Run, which KCU is a sponsor of, is the connector between both groups of students during the fall.
“It’s great for us to reach out to the community and help the kids become jazzed about exercise,” Selkirk said.
The Cliff Hanger Run benefits local non-profit Northeast Neighbor To Neighbor (http://nnncares.org/). Northeast Neighbor to Neighbor provides financial and other support services to the medically underserved residents of the Historic Northeast neighborhoods.
These training sessions took place twice a week, every Tuesday and Wednesday, for the past six weeks and provided students with physical activities as well as teaching them about nutritional tips. Selkirk said she and the KCU students hope the training sessions and the run itself help carry over to healthier lifestyles for the students and their families.
“We’re so proud of the students’ commitment to their training and the healthy choices they’ve made,” Selkirk said, adding she expects to see all the students show up, despite some joking the run was scheduled too early for them. “It was a privilege working with them.”