The Rite Aid Foundation announced today a three-year commitment as Presenting Sponsor of Baltimore Marathon Kids in the form of a $56,250 grant. This grant will enable more than 8,000 Baltimore-area children to participate in Marathon Kids’ unique six-month running/walking and nutrition program. Currently elementary school students in Baltimore City and County Schools participate as well as a growing number of students in Howard County. Last year, 76 schools Baltimore area schools were part of the program. "Marathon Kids addresses the issues of childhood obesity and diabetes prevention through its multi-faceted program,” said Ken Martindale, Rite Aid’s Chief Operating Officer and President of The Rite Aid Foundation. “This is a perfect program for us to fund because prevention and management of diabetes is one of Rite Aid's key focus areas in our efforts to support the health and wellness of the communities we serve. We've supported Baltimore Marathon Kids since 2010, and we are pleased to make this long-term commitment to enable the program to extend its reach to even more Baltimore children and families.” The Rite Aid Foundation's contribution will be formally announced at this year's Baltimore Marathon Kids kick-off event at Poly Western High School, 460 Falls Road, at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 22. Kids, teachers and parents will turn out for the official program launch and to celebrate as the children complete their first lap around the field as the start of their incremental marathon. As part of RA50, Rite Aid’s 50 th anniversary celebration, Rite Aid is also bringing the Rite Aid Station with healthy snacks, a Hand Washing Station, and free children’s ID photos for all families attending. Area Rite Aid associates will be on hand to cheer on participants as they complete their laps. Marathon Kids provides exercise and nutrition information to elementary school students through school-based programs. During the course of the school year, kids will run or walk a full 26.2 mile marathon in quarter or half-mile increments. They also learn about nutrition and healthy eating. The program provides materials for students to share with their families to help get the whole family moving and eating well. For information on Marathon Kids, visit www.marathonkids.org. "We are so thankful for the continued support from The Rite Aid Foundation,” said Jeremy Kaspar, National Director of Development for Marathon Kids. “Their support is critical to sustaining and growing the program in Baltimore. This is the first time we have had a three-year commitment in Baltimore, and it will enable us to reach beyond the schools we're currently engaging."