VAN WERT — The YWCA USA has adopted the USA Track & Field RunJumpThrow (RJT) youth activity program as part of its national offering to the girls it serves, and the YWCA of Van Wert County is excited to bring this program to our community.

In 2014, USATF and The Hershey Company created RunJumpThrow, a hands-on learning program designed to get kids excited about physical activity by introducing them to basic running, jumping and throwing skills through track and field. RJT is an evidenced-based program that addresses the trend of reduced physical activity among youth and can be instrumental in creating a safe, accessible environment that fosters physical literacy.

Thanks to partial funding by the United Way of Van Wert, and additional program support available through USATF, the YWCA is able to offer RunJumpThrow at no cost to community youth as well as surrounding counties.

“Every child deserves the opportunity to grow up strong,” states Kimberly Laudick, YWCA Executive Director. “This mission-based RunJumpThrow curriculum allows us to broaden our services and focus on one of our YWCA USA signature outcomes, which is to improve the health and safety of women and girls.”

Van Wert Elementary Physical Education teacher, Betty Holliday, will oversee RunJumpThrow locally. “We are thrilled to have Betty running this program. With her proven track record, knowledge and passion, we are excited that all area youth can now benefit from her experience,” stated Laudick.

The program will start July 25 and run every Wednesday from 7-8 p.m. for six weeks. The last day will consist of a fun competition for kids to test their skills. Both boys and girls, ages 6-12 may participate and must pre-register by July 20. Registration forms can be picked up at the YWCA, or requested through the YWCA Facebook page or by e-mailing All activities within the program will be held at the Van Wert High School Track & Field complex.

The YWCA is a United Way and Van Wert County Foundation funded agency.