An annual 5K race in Greenwood is upgrading to a new venue Saturday in hopes of improving an outreach effort to fight illiteracy.
Greenwood-based One Mission Society is hosting a 5K at Freedom Park, 850 W. Stop 18 Road, at 8 a.m. Saturday. The run/walk serves as a fundraiser for Freedom to Read, a literacy program for children and adults worldwide.
“We’ve had a 5K race in a limited fashion for a number of years,” said Brad Johns, vice president of marketing communications for One Mission. “This year we decided to broaden it and make it available to the entire community to start a new tradition for the community of Greenwood. There really is no 5K charity event of this type (in Greenwood).”
Bridge to Reading is one faction of the Freedom to Read program through OMS, where volunteers are trained to teach reading, writing, and basic math in their local churches in Central Africa and also parts of South America.
“Around the world today, according to the United Nations, there is close to 750 million adults who can not read in any language,” said James Kigamwa, director of Bridge to Reading. “Bridge to Reading works with churches and communities around the world to train volunteers who teach reading and writing. The funds raised in the race have assisted in providing some of the resources and materials for teaching reading and writing.”
Freedom to Read also features English camps in Europe and a ministry for refugees coming into America.
The 5K moves to Freedom Park after five years on the OMS campus. Registration costs $39 and can be done at www.oms. run and at the race, which will be timed, and medals will be awarded. Over 150 people had registered as of last week.
Johns said he hopes the 5K can also be used to build relationships with other organizations on the Southside. “We are an international organization, but we are looking for ways to partner with churches in the community and this is a good way to do that.”