Brooke Sydnor Curran founded RunningBrooke in May of 2009 as a philanthropic fund under ACT of Alexandria. The goals were to prepare children for kindergarten by funding early childhood education programs, support children already in school by funding literacy, mentoring and life-skills programs and encourage kids to get outside and moving by funding after-school physical activities and renovations to playgrounds. Brooke pledged to raise money by doing something she excelled at – running marathons. The first grant cycle in 2010 awarded $20,000 to fund bilingual, preschool education for at risk children. To date, the organization has given over $300,000.
In November 2014, Brooke ran her 78th marathon towards her goal of completing 100. She has already run a marathon on every continent, in all five, world majors and in every state. In addition to running one marathon a month, Brooke also completed her first IRONMAN competition in November in Panama City, FL.
The 2015 grants were awarded to the following recipients:
● Alexandria Tutoring Consortium – To tutor 100 at-risk kindergarten students in
Pre-literacy skills, and bring their reading up to grade level.
● ALIVE! – To increase the number of ALIVE! Pre-school children screened and
treated for Sensory Processing Disorder and fine motor skills delays.
● Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture – To pilot the “Farm in the
Classroom” program at 3 Alexandria schools, and provide Arcadia Farm Field
Trips at 6 Alexandria schools. This effort builds understanding of agriculture and
encourages healthy food choices.
● Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington – To fund an after-school bicycling
program for 50 at-risk students, and provide mentoring, regular bike training and
education of Alexandria history.
● Child & Family Network Services – To provide free, bilingual, preschool classes for
18 at-risk children and social services for their parents.
● Community Lodgings – To provide after-school and summer tutoring to 151
children in the Arlandria and Brent Place communities.
● Friends of Huntley Meadows Park – To provide 50 children at Casa Chirilagua with
art kits and nature enrichment classes.
● Girls on the Run, NoVA – To provide scholarships for 75 Alexandria girls to join the
bi-weekly, after-school program and develop enhanced social, emotional and
physical skills, as well as train and complete a 5k race.
● The Campagna Center – To support the New Neighbors and Early Childhood
programs to help vulnerable immigrant parents and their young children develop
literacy skills, prepare for kindergarten, and learn about healthy lifestyle choices.
● QuinTango – To provide an intersession program for 24 at-risk students in the
Alexandria City Schools. This program combines soccer and tango lessons to teach
perseverance, courage, kindness, and respect.