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SRLA hope continues

August 12, 2009
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I received a call from a reader that thought my Students Run Los Angeles story was negative, and in fact it was. The program appears to be ending for Rosemont and Crescenta Valley High School students because a teacher mentor has not been found. Parents have been sending emails in desperation to find a teacher solution, as have the teachers who have mentored the local program in the past but with no luck. None of the parents I spoke with blame any teacher for not jumping at the chance to spend thousands of hours going to early morning runs, getting everyone on a bus at 4 a.m. for races or meeting for the after school practices. These teachers that have volunteered their time in the past are truly the best of the best. They patiently work with kids that have never run any race before and continue to motivate the runners. They encourage and support all the while running themselves not just one marathon but year after year. And the SRLA program itself is an amazing organization that asks no financial support from the runners but gives these kids a sense of accomplishment that no price tag could be placed on. I think we all understand that finances are tight especially for those organizations that depend on donations. This is not the organization’s fault or the teachers; it is a result of our depressed economy. The story was not about the negative side of SRLA but the positive side of the program and those parents appreciate it so much they want to do what they can to save it. If Rosemont cannot participate our children will lose, there is no doubt but that does not mean parents are not grateful for the time and effort put forth by the teachers and the organization to give our kids this challenge. The fact that Rosemont Principal Michelle Doll and others are continuing to work to find a solution to this problem is an example of student support that is common at the middle school.

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