By providing sports-based youth development programs to middle schools in urban Rhode Island communities, NE Distance aims to help under-served children develop critical life skills in the following four areas:
In 2014, NE Distance restarted cross country and outdoor track programs for middle school youth in Woonsocket, a distressed city in Rhode Island with a poverty rate of 26%, after budget cuts shut down both programs in 2009. That Fall, NE Distance brought 50 kids to the RI State Meet. The following year, the two programs combined grew to almost 100 kids.
In 2015, NE Distance partnered with the Public School System of Providence – where the poverty rate is even higher at 29% – to restart middle school cross country programs for all seven of its public middle schools. That Fall, over 250 kids participated. The following Fall, that number grew to over 300.