Chicago, Illinois

Program Coordinator and Coach

Chicago Run -- Chicago, Illinois

1- or 2-year term
Ages 20+
Mennonite Voluntary Service



Position Summary
Chicago Run seeks an enthusiastic individual with a passion for physical fitness and youth development to work alongside the Chicago Run staff to oversee the ongoing growth and development of its youth running programs in the Chicago Public Schools and community sites. This is a full-time position, starting in the Fall of 2018. At Chicago Run, he/she has the primary responsibility to work with the School Staff and students regarding daily program operations and maintain routine communication with participating school and community sites. This position will be integral to the success of Chicago Run programming.

Founded in 2007, Chicago Run is a nonprofit organization that implements and supports running programs for children and youth in the Chicago Public Schools. The organization's mission is to promote the health and wellness of Chicago children through innovative, engaging, and sustainable youth running programs. The vision of Chicago Run is to enhance the health and well-being of every child in Chicago through running. Chicago Run currently serves over 17,000 students in 44 schools in 30 diverse communities throughout Chicago. Approximately 84% of Chicago Run participants qualify for the federal free/reduced lunch program.

Chicago Run maintains four youth running programs: "Little Strides," "Chicago Runners," "Running Mates" and "LACE Up." The Coaches primary responsibilities will be with the following programs:

The "Chicago Runners" program is designed to instill the daily habit of running during the school day for elementary school students. Each student runs, jogs or participates in moderate to vigorous physical activity for a minimum of 15 minutes a day (during recess, PE class or a fitness break), three to five times a week. Students track their mileage goal and earn incentives as they achieve certain milestones on the virtual marathon website, The website provides a digital learning medium for students and teachers to set goals, monitor progress, virtually run through Chicago while learning about historical landmarks and nutrition facts, and build community pride and awareness.

The "Running Mates" program is designed to prepare middle school students to run in a local race. The program teaches the participants about teamwork, commitment, and perseverance utilizing a training program that incorporates running workouts, nutrition information, core exercises and team-building activities that promote a deeper understanding of community and diversity. This program is unique because it trains students from different schools together, thereby, breaking down racial and cultural stereotypes and forging friendships that might not otherwise be formed due to the geographic and cultural barriers that exist between neighborhoods. The program meets three times a week after or before school, utilizing coaches to manage the program and provide a positive, active and healthy environment!

Chicago Run seeks an energetic and enthusiastic person to work alongside Program Staff in establishing and maintaining high quality Chicago Run programming at sites throughout the city.

Roles and Responsibilities
The Program Coordinator is responsible for the day-to-day Chicago Runners Program at 6-8 sites and 2-3 Running Mates sites. In addition, the Coach will:

Coordinate School Relationships

  • Lead running and physical activity sessions with elementary school students during the school day;
  • Lead or co-lead after-school running practices with Running Mates team(s);
  • Assist with Chicago Run Alumni Team, L.A.C.E. Up!;
  • Attend all Chicago Run related events in which student-athletes participate;
  • Conduct weekly site visits to participating Chicago Run schools;
  • Provide documentation of weekly site visits at each school and offer recommendations based on observations to teachers and students;
  • Conduct physical activity-related trainings for parents, teachers and other school personnel to meet the unique needs of each school
  • Maintain regular communication with school Site Coordinators, Principals, and other staff via email, phone, and in person;
  • Help identify and troubleshoot any issues with program delivery;
  • Provide weekly reports regarding status of programs and relationships with schools;
  • Aid in the development and enhancement of the over-all health and wellness environment at schools and implement innovative physical activity and nutrition based projects;
  • Make exercise FUN for students and school staff!

Coordinate Program Logistics

  • Helps teachers and students with uploading school rosters, updating school information, and monitoring progress of schools and classes;
  • Oversees Chicago Run Virtual Marathon Database as part of the running program with the students' marathon routes and mileage;
  • Ensures delivery of incentives to schools including t-shirts, lanyards, water bottles, and awards; informs students about the importance of the incentives and goal-setting.

Provide Event Support

  • Assists with the organization of school kick-off events;
  • Provides support and coordinates logistics for Fun Run celebratory events with students and teachers;
  • Facilitates program trainings for school personnel and students;
  • Provides support at all Running Mates team-building events and races throughout the season.

Experience and Qualifications
An ideal candidate will be 18 years of age or older, and have a minimum 3 years experience playing or coaching a sport. Candidates must have, or be working toward a High School diploma, GED, or its equivalent. The candidate should have familiarity and interest in working with youth programs and great enthusiasm for working in the Chicago Public Schools and with community-based organizations. He/she should possess a strong interest in physical fitness and a healthy well-being. The Program Coordinator will be comfortable working with diverse populations. He/she should have exceptional communication skills, both verbal and written, should be a self-starter, and be able to work independently while also being a team player and helpful and available to the small Chicago Run Staff at all times. He/she must have a car and be willing to travel to schools throughout the city as part of his/her daily schedule. The candidate must possess the ability to lift up to 25 lbs. The candidate is available to work a flexible schedule including occasional evenings and weekends and dedicates a year of full time service for this position. Every candidate will have to undergo an FBI background check. Results will determine a candidate's ability to serve. Bilingual in Spanish language is preferable.

Chicago Run provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, marital status, amnesty, or veteran status.

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