Behind the Scenes: The Let’s Get Literate 5k

At first glance, the turn of a page may not seem to have much in common with the steady pulse of a sneaker smacking pavement. And initially, running and reading didn’t appear to have much of a connection to us, the organizers of the Let’s Get Literate 5k, either. But on October 16 2016, athletes, avid readers, and everyone in between came out to support the Literate Earth Project by running or walking in the Let’s Get Literate 5k - an unexpected intersection between an age-old sport and a worthy cause.

The Let’s Get Literate 5k is a 3.1 mile charity race, organized to help raise funds to continue LEP’s mission of establishing libraries in Uganda and fostering education and a love of reading among youth. The race brought out more than 85 runners and walkers and more than $3,000 was raised to go towards The Literate Earth Project - nearly twice our original goal. But more than a race, the 5k was a community event, a chance to rally a diverse group of individuals around an initiative that seemed to resonate with everyone, regardless of their differences.  

Additionally, the Let’s Get Literate 5k provided us with a significant opportunity to contribute to this purpose in our own unique way. It was through a route that struck a chord with every organizer, as each of us is currently an athlete or has a history with the sport of running. Running made sense.

The 5k started off as an absurd idea, mentioned in casual conversation between friends. “Wouldn’t it be crazy if we actually pulled off organizing a 5k?” But once the seed was planted, it began to sprout. The next step was finding a cause we could all proudly stand behind, one that would align with the interests of our community members. An endeavor that we would feel compelled to dedicate ourselves to, no matter the hours of exhausting work that went into it. The answer was the Literate Earth Project.

In addition to respecting LEP’s mission, we admired the way LEP operated - by working hand in hand with local entities, offering support to sustain continued growth and allowing each community to become further empowered in the process.

Though running and reading appear to have a disconnect at first, the Let’s Get Literate 5k convened two seemingly conflicting pursuits  and resulted in something special.

Hannah Nesich
Organizer
Let's Get Literate 5k