Totally rad!

Totally rad!

CIRCLE Academy, our education program that serves students who live with their families in surrounding communities, is dedicated to empowering students for success in any and every capacity possible. CIRCLE not only provides structure, nurturing, and a therapeutic learning environment, but also gives its students many positive opportunities to challenge themselves.

At the beginning of the school year, students at our CIRCLE Academy Vermilion (CAV) in Rossville, who showed an interest in running during their regularly scheduled physical education class, were given the opportunity to start a running club. For PE teacher Mrs. Anita, who has been at CIRCLE for five years, organizing this new club was a creative way for students to get exercise, but also feel included and special.

The running club consists of six students and two staff members who have deemed themselves the "CAV Rad Runners." Three times a week, the CAV Rad Runners run along carefully planned routes throughout the Rossville community.

"The students are learning there is more to running than moving their feet," Jacob, CAV Case Manager, said. "They must practice stretching before and after their workout, along with proper breathing techniques, correct running form, road safety, and understanding the importance of healthy food and drink choices to refuel their bodies."

Through participation in the running club, students are challenging themselves physically but also gaining valuable social skills by being supportive to their peers when they need encouragement.

It hasn’t taken long for the running club to capture the attention of other students who are now expressing interest in joining. Jaxx* even practiced running extra laps in PE class to show just how serious he was in becoming a member of the CAV Rad Runners.

Enthusiasm for the new running club has also spilled into the Rossville community. While students are out running, truckers honk and smile, a lady in her garden claps and cheers as they pass by, and employees of nearby businesses offer smiles and words of encouragement.

"These positive moments also push our students to do well in the classroom while visibly boosting their self-esteem and sense of self-worth," Jacob said. "They proudly get to tell people they are part of the CAV Rad Runners running club!"

When you support Cunningham fundraising events, like the Be a Hero 5K, you are helping to instill pride and provide opportunities for growth for the youth and families we serve!