RUN4HOPE: The Walking School Bus

Vancouver, BC – April 5, 2019

RUN4HOPE - New Charity program for the BMO Vancouver Marathon

RUN4HOPE is the charity program of the BMO Vancouver Marathon, with goals to raise funds for social impact and community good, plus foster a spirit of community celebration. RUN4HOPE provides value to charities, and charitable options for participants, enabling runners to fundraise and/or donate to charities. Run & Give! Organized by the local non-profit RUNVAN®, the event’s RUN4HOPE program has helped runners like you raise over $15 million for charity. Thank you!

Raise $400 for an official RUN4HOPE charity, and our non-profit RUNVAN® will reimburse your race registration 20%


The Walking School Bus

Even the hardiest marathon runners reach the point in a race where their energy bottoms out. You try to regain momentum, maybe by visualizing the finish line. But whatever you try, you notice your feet beginning to drag, shoulders dip, a worrying creak in your knees and you become convinced that there aren’t enough energy gels in the world to revive you. It’s at those moments when a slightly self-satisfied voice in the back of your head asks, why are we doing this again?

At those times, it’s nice to have an answer. And for this year’s 2019 BMO Vancouver Marathon, my answer is The Walking School Bus. The Walking School Bus empowers educational attainment through mutually beneficial partnerships that promote a holistic, research-driven approach. By focusing on three interconnected goals – Access, Nutrition, & Curriculum – TWSB enacts long-term solutions for increasing student literacy, the number one predictor of academic success.

A critical aspect of marathon training is developing a race strategy tailored to your needs. Does your metabolism mean that you should refuel after mile seven or ten? Should you adopt a run/walk method? Similarly, my role at The Walking School Bus includes working with educators to help contextualize lesson materials for local classes. Optimizing content helps avoid the misrepresentation, oversimplification or homogenization that can threaten non-profit initiatives. By attending to individual classrooms and communities, The Walking School Bus makes sure that, once resources are implemented, their potential is fully realized.

One resource that The Walking School Bus utilizes is the literacy and reading program Simbi. Simbi uses a Reading While Listening learning model to improve reading comprehension and fluency gains. In trials conducted around the world (Canada, Uganda, India, Puerto Rico, and China), students exposed to Reading While Listening consistently outscored silent readers in measures of comprehension.

Like the student volunteers who provide audiobook readings for Simbi, running the BMO Vancouver Marathon provides me with a chance to develop a skill and enjoy a physical challenge, while at the same time connecting and contributing to communities across the world. If you need an extra boost of motivation when you hit that mile twenty wall, why not join our team, and run the next BMO Vancouver Marathon with The Walking School Bus?!

Spend 5 minutes reading a book out loud with Simbi today to enhance literacy in Uganda!

Joe Hitchcock, BMO Vancouver Marathon Charity Runner

About The Walking School Bus

We empower educational attainment through mutually beneficial partnerships that promote our holistic, research driven approach of Access, Nutrition, & Curriculum.

Our journey started through the realization that students travelled great distances to access education. While searching for solutions to this problem of Access, we learned that once students would arrive at school, they did not have adequate access to Nutrition – a prerequisite for education. Finally, while working in the classrooms, we discovered the high rates of teacher absenteeism and lack of teacher fluency, these obstacles were hurting student literacy – the number one predictor of academic success and we started working to improve curriculum through our SiMBi Reading Application and Solar-powered Classrooms.

Run & Fundraise. Make a Donation.

Take your race to another level. Run and raise funds for one of our Official Charity Partners to enjoy a more meaningful run. Raise $400 for your charity, and our non-profit RUNVAN® will reimburse your race registration 20%. Charity runners may choose to then give those savings back to their charity of choice.


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