Running at Broughal is a Global Citizenship Capstone project by Elizabeth Shannon '12 (Joint IR/MLL-Russian), Katherine Phyfe '12 (Finance), and Natalya Surmachevska '12 (Economics, Biology, and IR).
Global Citizenship is a cross-college, multi-disciplinary certificate program at Lehigh designed to give students from all majors and all colleges the opportunity to examine the questions of meaning and value associated with the theme of citizenship in today's world. The capstone, a requirement for graduation from the program, is an opportunity for seniors to reflect on their own personal definitions of global citizenship through its practical implementation in the community. Every capstone project is different, and reflects the individual interests and interpretations of each student.
The Running at Broughal capstone was formed from Kate, Elizabeth and Natalya's love of running, and the existing Lehigh-Broughal connection. Taking into account the existing knowledge that Bethlehem's South Side is a known food desert, and a low-income area, making it difficult for families to have easy and consistent access to fresh and healthy food options, Running at Broughal decided to form a program that would bring these options to Broughal.
Deciding to create a running program to combat some of the observed side effects of food deserts, obesity, Running at Broughal took 7th and 8th grade girls out running on the Greenway for about 2 miles twice a week for six weeks. Upon return, Running at Broughal provided healthy snacks which may not be readily available at home, and promoted healthy choice discussion. These discussions were about how to make healthy food and exercise choices. Therefore conversation topics revolved mostly around avoiding empty calories, and getting enough nutrients, rather than dieting, through discussion about choices like "skim vs. whole milk" or "banana vs kit hat" (the same amount of calories).
The Running at Broughal program had moderate success, with bout 1-5 participants for each run. The program has left all materials behind with the Global Citizenship Program, should any other student desire to take up the project again.