About Us


Finding our Stride is a school-based running program for underserved (30% or higher free and reduced lunch) middle and elementary schools in the Upper Valley.  Our mission is to build fitness, self-esteem and teamwork through running. Our goal is to address childhood obesity and increase outdoor activity, as studies have demonstrated that there is a positive correlation between exercise and readiness to learn and improved self-confidence.

Finding Our Stride was established in 2011 via the Children’s Fund of the Upper Valley (www.childrensfunduv.org), a donor-advised fund within New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. Finding Our Stride is also supported by Norwich Partners, Mascoma Savings Bank, Positive Tracks, the Vermont Community Foundation, the Hypertherm Hope Foundation, and generous individual donors. We welcome additional funding partners!

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The Jane B. Cook Charitable Trust

Finding our Stride partners with school leadership to design a program that works best for each school.  We start at the middle school level and create a co-ed program for that age group if it does not already exist.  We then move to the elementary school level. If an elementary school currently has a running program, such as ‘Girls on the Run,’ Finding Our Stride can help create a running program for boys.

Typically, school/district leadership recruits coaches, and Finding Our Stride provides logistical support, transportation, coaching stipends, snack, t-shirts, and end-of-season race entry fees (when applicable). We do not charge a registration fee.  Finding Our Stride also has a Sneaker Fund and will provide a voucher for running shoes to participants demonstrating a need, upon recommendation from coaches or school leadership.

Finding Our Stride works to track the progress of our student participants during the program. We hope to use this information to demonstrate the value of the program to other interested schools and supporters. Our hope is to bring Finding Our Stride to every Upper Valley school in need that wants to participate!

2019 Finding Our Schools

Bethel Elementary School, Bethel VT

Bethel Middle School, Bethel VT

Blue Mountain Union School, Wells River VT

Bradford Elementary, Bradford VT

Canaan Elementary, Canaan NH

Claremont Middle School, Claremont NH

Dothan Brook School, Hartford VT

Enfield Village School, Enfield NH

Hanover Street School, Lebanon NH

Hartford Middle School, White River Jct VT

Hartland Elementary School, Hartland VT

Haverhill Cooperative Middle School, Haverhill NH

Indian River School, Canaan NH

Lebanon Middle School, Lebanon NH

Maple Ave. Elementary School, Claremont NH

Mt. Lebanon School, W. Lebanon, NH

Newbury Elementary School, Newbury VT

Piermont Village School, Piermont NH

Riverside Middle School, Springfield VT

Rochester Elementary School, Rochester VT

Samuel Morey Elementary School, Fairlee VT

Union Street Elementary, Springfield VT

White River School, White River Junction VT

Woodsville Elementary, Woodsville NH

Prospective Schools for 2020 – 2021

Claremont Elementary Schools, Claremont NH

Newport School District SAU #43