INDIANAPOLIS - Runners are lacing up their shoes Thursday to make the world a better place for children in urban education in Indianapolis.
Those taking part in the Monumental Mile along Meridian Street to Monument Circle are helping raise money for the Indianapolis Public Schools Education Foundation.
Team BetterEd is running the mile to raise awareness and improve education in Indianapolis.
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"I believe all kids, regardless of circumstances, deserve an opportunity for high-quality education," said Francesca Jarosz, VP of policy and communication at The Mind Trust.
The runners come from different walks of life and professions, such as advertising and community organizations.
"I enjoy running with Team BetterEd to support my friends who all work in education," said Danielle Vezolles, who works for an advertising agency.
"I see the benefits that children and families receive when they have quality teachers and support systems around the city," said Lauren Scheldrup, development director at Junior Achievement of Central Indiana.
The Monumental Mile is just one leg of the journey in support of groups such as The Mind Trust, a nonprofit working to close the achievement gap in urban education.
"I think our effort helps kids in the sense that we are building a team of people who care about education and really want to make a difference," Jarosz said.
The runners train twice a week. None of them have children, but said they are running because they love children and have a passion for education.
"I have been born and raised in Indiana and want to see us have an amazing education system," said Sarah Sullivan, of the Indiana Charter School Board.
"My mom's a teacher, and I saw the impact she made on kids," said Ryan Brady, of the Central Indiana Community Foundation. "I hope to give back in a similar way."
With every step taken during the Monumental Mile, Team Better Ed hopes to improve the outcome for Hoosier children.
Along with supporting what they consider a great cause, they are also trying to encourage other young professionals to get involved in education reform.
Each year, nearly three-dozen runners have been on the team. They are also preparing for the Monumental Marathon in November.