Get ready to run for a cause under pluming clouds of color next Saturday, for the first annual Run With Your Imagination 5k Color Run.
The 5K Color Run will be held May 1 in partnership with the Sam Houston State University Chapter of the Texas Association of Future Educators, Tomorrow’s Promise - The Montessori School of Huntsville and the local running community to promote children’s literacy.
The inaugural event will help bring literacy to local children from birth to age five, through the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, a book gifting program that mails free, age appropriate books to children once a month, no matter their family’s income. While costs for the books are covered by Parton herself, families in the program are asked to pay $25 to cover the shipping costs for each child’s books.
Tomorrow’s Promise - The Montessori School of Huntsville director Kaye Boehning has been leading Walker County’s efforts to bring the Imagination Library to all children in the area under the age of five. With over 750 children in Walker County currently receiving books through the Imagination Library each month, organizers behind the Imagination 5K Color Run are hoping to cover another year of shipping costs for children in the program through the race’s $25 registration fee. They also hope to be able to bring more local families into the Imagination Library for increased literacy in the area.
“These kids get excited every month because these books show up just for them in the mailbox,” event organizer Darren Grant said. “The benefits of reading at a young age are just so important, so this is kind of catching young people at this wonderful time in their lives when they’re open to everything, they’re absorbing everything and they’re excited about everything.”
The 5K Color Run will begin at the SHSU Education Building at 9 a.m. and is composed of a three-loop course through the north and south portions of campus. Each loop is roughly one mile, allowing runners to choose their own distance challenge, though the entire course is mapped to match a 5K route. Members of TAFE will be serving as the color team, and will be stationed along the running course to douse seven different colored powders on participants as they run by.
“Some people come to these already in colorful clothing, but others come out with a white t-shirt and then it gets doused with all of these different colors as you run the race,” Grant said. “It’s fun, you come home and you have a unique t-shirt that reminds you of the run for as long as you want to wear it.”
All runners will receive a free commemorative t-shirt and a goodie bag for their participation. Booths will also be onsite offering photo opportunities, inflatable slides and chances to sign up for the Imagination Library.
“This is a dual purpose, we want to be able to give people a good time and raise money for this, but we want to make sure that everybody knows about the Imagination Library and is able to sign their children up if they want,” Grant added.
To register for the Run With Your Imagination 5K Color Run, donate or sign up for the Imagination Library, visit www.runwithyourimagination.com