|Bloomington School, Minnesota Vikings Tackle World Hunger with Save the Children|
Eileen Burke 203.216.0718 (M)
Jeremy Soulliere 203.341.8203 (O)
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (Oct. 16, 2012) — Students at Ramalynn Montessori Academy teamed up with the Minnesota Vikings to tackle childhood hunger this morning, becoming the first school in the United States to participate in Save the Children's World Marathon Challenge.
The Ramalynn students joined more than 20,000 children in 42 countries worldwide taking part in Race for Survival, a simultaneous relay spanning the marathon distance of 26.2 miles. The 27 students, ages 11 to 13, ran a combined 210 laps in solidarity with those facing hunger around the world, working to raise awareness of World Food Day, held every Oct. 16, and the urgent need to fight childhood hunger and malnutrition.
"Living off the land, as many poor, rural families do around the globe, can be a tough life. Many families face the daily challenge of not knowing where their next meal is coming from. Feeling hungry is hard for anyone at any age, but when a young child doesn't get the right food in the early years, it can put the brakes on her growth and development, affecting her for the rest of her life," said Carolyn Miles, president and CEO of Save the Children. "Save the Children aims to create a level playing field where all families have access to nutritious food or have the means to buy it. That's why we appreciate the support of these students in the race against hunger. Together, we can fight child hunger and give every kid a chance to grow up healthy and prosper."
Vikings linebacker Jasper Brinkley, along with the team's mascot, Viktor the Viking, and its cheerleaders, joined Bloomington Mayor Gene Winstead at this morning's Race for Survival event. Thirty-six Ramalynn students ages 7 to 11 also competed in a 1500 meter relay with 63 other teams from around the world.
"The World Marathon Challenge is a great example of kids getting engaged to make a difference with children from other countries," Winstead said. "I hope every school in Minnesota will participate next year."
Save the Children also collaborated with Google+ to host a 12-hour "Great Debate" on child survival on the Google+ hangout platform. They brought together 30 celebrities, politicians, civil society actors and children from 15 countries to discuss ways to avoid millions of preventable child deaths.
To join the Save the Children/Google+ "Great Debate," visit www.raceforsurvival.net.
To follow the schools in the world that participated in the race, please visit www.competitioncentre.net/map.
Save the Children is the leading, independent organization that creates lasting change for children in need in the United States and around the world. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
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