Congregation Beth Israel of Media, PA, today announced that Students Run Philly Style has won its 2009 “Friend of the Community Award.” Students Run Philly Style is the only program in Philadelphia that sets up mentored training programs for students to try running as an outlet for their energy. Many students who have participated have enjoyed better health and more focus in school. The award will be given to program director Heather McDanel, following 8PM Shabbat services at Beth Israel on Friday, May 8.
Based on a similar initiative in Los Angeles, Students Run Philly Style connects students with adult mentors who help them imagine and accomplish goals beyond their dreams, including the completion of a marathon. The program has been credited with delivering powerful results for youth, including increasing high school graduation rates, improving health, providing safe choices after school and developing positive relationships with caring adults. This past November more than 60 students from the program ran the Philadelphia Marathon, and teams of hundreds of student runners are regularly seen at local runs such as the Run for the Monk 5K, scheduled for June 5 in Springfield.
This innovative program has been endorsed and supported by a wide range of organizations, including the Robert Wood Johnson foundation, the Philadelphia Foundation, and the William Penn Foundation.
Students Run Philly Style and Heather McDanel will be honored at a ceremony to be held at Congregation Beth Israel on Friday, May 8 at 8:00 PM. The public is warmly invited to attend. For further information, contact Congregation Beth Israel at (610) 566-4645.
The Friend of the Community ceremony with remarks by Ms. McDanel is presented by Beth Israel Social Action and Religious Practices Committees, with underwriting by the Jewish Federation of Philadelphia.
Since 1998, the Social Action committee of Congregation Beth Israel has presented the “Friend of the Community Award” to individuals or groups whose work in Delaware County exemplifies the Jewish value of “Tikkun Olam,” or repairing the world. Members of Beth Israel participate in a range of community projects, such as serving home-cooked meals at the Life Shelter in Upper Darby, teaching reading to children, computer skills to shelter families in Chester and collecting donations for MAZON, the Jewish Response to Hunger.