Team Long Run
Coming out of the remote learning school year due to Covid-19, Jill Bartash, Principal of the Rumford Elementary School, recognized that many children did not get sufficient physical activity. She was also concerned about students falling behind in their reading progress. In the fall of 2021, as a new school year was about to begin, Jill introduced the folks at Team Long Run, Chuck, and Hilary Wilcoxen, to the Friends of the River Valley. Team Long Run, a Bridgton-based non-profit organization, helps school-age children improve their literacy by combining it with exercise and fun activities. Recognizing the challenges many of the River Valley Community children faced during the pandemic, FRV coordinated with TLR and Jill to fund an exercise and literacy program called ‘Sizzle & Pop’ for both Meroby and Rumford elementary schools and the local Head Start program. FRV also introduced TLR to private donors, the Margaret Burnham Charitable Foundation, and the Maine Community Foundation to round out the needed financial support to cover the cost for the entire academic year. The Sizzle & Pop program should benefit over 600 students throughout the River Valley area. FRV looks forward to continuing its relationship with TLR and the local schools.
Photo courtesy Bruce Farrin of the Sun Journal/Rumford Falls Times