Photo Courtesy of Christine McCarthy

BC's Race to Educate Highlights Unique Partnership With St. Columbkille School

On Saturday, April 30th, the air surrounding Alumni Stadium was filled with noise, energy, and a sense of excitement. While this may sound like an early start to football season, it wasn’t Boston College athletes who took to the field, but almost one thousand students and their families from St. Columbkille Partnership School taking part in the 12th Annual BC Race to Educate.

Located in Allston-Brighton, St. Columbkille is a Pre-K to Grade 8 private Catholic school that has worked closely with BC since 2006. This connection was deepened in 2018, when the Lynch School of Education designated St. Columbkille as a laboratory school, opening a wide array of resources and offering opportunities for BC students and faculty as the only such relationship in Boston between an elementary school and a university.

The Annual BC Race to Educate is one example of the lasting effects of BC’s uniquely positive relationship with St. Columbkille. Started in 2011 by members of the BC Men’s Hockey Team, the event serves to raise funds for St. Columbkille while also bringing together and celebrating the strong community the two schools’ partnership has created. Donations come both from families and businesses, and all funds go directly to funding financial aid opportunities for students.

Christine McCarthy, the race’s organizer and Communication Specialist at St. Columbkille, explained, “Lots of businesses in the Allston and Brighton area donate, it’s great to see such a strong sense of community.”

The 2022 BC Race to Educate was the first held in two years due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, and the large crowd that gathered to run and cheer on family or friends were grateful for the phenomenal weather.

The BC Community plays an active role in the organization of the Race to Educate, but also helps to facilitate the event and add to the fanfare of it all. Performances by members of BC’s Pep Band occurred at the beginning of each race and before the culminating 5K run, and participation awards were handed out to all the students by members of BC’s Football Team. Additionally, members of BC’s Cheer Team were along the 5K route to guide runners in the right direction.

Jennifer Kuweiski, the new head of St. Columbkille, could hardly contain her excitement for the event. “This is a wonderful celebration of our community,” she explained, adding, “Running is a wonderful way to celebrate our health, especially with such wonderful weather.”

Kate Ward was the race director for the event and helped to facilitate the announcements prior to each race. She echoed the praise of the work BC has done to set up the Race to Educate.

“We’re so grateful to all our partners here at BC, they’ve done a phenomenal job organizing this program for years,” Kate said. “It’s such a unique opportunity, you can just feel the energy in the air and the kids absolutely feel it too.”

Kate also praised the work of BCPD to ensure the safety of all the participants in the Race to Educate, explaining, “It’s amazing to be able to have an event like this and know the runners, especially younger runners, are all safe thanks to the work BC has done for this.”

Long Island born and raised. Probably somewhere waiting on line for coffee or working on an essay I put off for far too long.