Shop at Running Free on Wednesday May 13th, 2015 and we'll donate 10% of all sales to the Start2Finish Run and Read program. Get involved and find out more below. Run and Read Program - Run for Change Day

What is the Run and Read Program?

The Start2Finish Run and Read program is an after school program that is focused on children living in some of the most impoverished communities in Canada. The program outcomes have been nothing less than astonishing. Once a week for the duration of a school year, volunteers take the kids out for a run after school. When they return, healthy snacks are served and literacy and writing games begin. The success of the program can be attributed to the extremely devoted volunteers who generously donate their time. They are fundamental in helping each child develop the self-esteem and self-confidence all children need to be successful in life. Combine that with physical fitness and literacy and you have the perfect environment for learning. This program has a very real impact on the lives of the kids and families it helps, and is a major contributing factor to breaking the cycle of poverty for less fortunate families across Canada.

The Run4Change Event

Our involvement with the Run and Read program began ten years ago during the inaugural year of the program. Back then it was offered at just one school in the Malvern community in Toronto. At the end of that first year, we invited the kids up to Unionville to celebrate a year of hard work by taking part in a 5km race. Today, the Run and Read program reaches over 1600 students from Vancouver to Halifax including several aboriginal communities. The event is now so large that it is held at the Toronto Track and Field Center at York University. Every year hundreds of kids from programs across Ontario participate in this very special day, and regional events are held in different cities across Canada on the same day.

Annual Run4Change Day

Once a year, all Running Free stores contribute 10% of all sales on Run4Change day to the Run and Read program. You'll also find buckets on the front counter at each store for the entire month of May where contributions are accepted. You can help the Run and Read program simply by making a purchase at a Running Free store or online on Run4Change day. Run and Read Program - Run for Change Day

The program needs your help

The Run and Read program is entirely funded by private donations and receives no public money. Thanks to the assistance of Canadian companies and individuals, the program is still going strong today. Educational institutions such as the Universities of Victoria, Guelph, McMaster and Ottawa have all begun various studies on the benefits of physical activity on a child's ability to learn and retain information. We believe strongly that the long term benefits for kids participating in the Run and Read program are so substantial, that all children should have access to a program like it. If you would like to volunteer, make a donation, or learn more please visit