Prof runs to support child care for student parents

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Jeremiah Cataldo will be running 100 miles in under 30 hours to raise money for Grand Valley State University's Children's Enrichment Center, even though he doesn't yet have a child there.

Cataldo, a visiting assistant professor of history and Classics since 2008, became aware of the need to find affordable child care after the birth of a son in February. He was also moved by challenges that student parents face in finding affordable quality childcare while juggling classes and a job. A week of full-time care at the CEC can cost between $125-150.

"I believe that our students should have access to the same kind of high quality care that faculty and staff seek for their own families," said Cataldo. "I want to raise awareness of an important need and provide a way we can help students meet that need."

The Children's Enrichment Center Student Parent Scholarship Fund has been established by Grand Valley's Development office. Cataldo hopes to raise enough to provide a substantial base for the fund through pledges made per mile of his run.

The Burning River 100 race in late July is a United States Track and Field certified event. It is a point-to-point race following the Cuyahoga River and trail system starting in Willoughby Hills, OH, and finishing in Cuyahoga Falls, OH. While running 100 miles is challenging enough, the types of terrain that must be covered range from asphalt and dirt roads, to horse and single-track trails. Cataldo has previously completed multiple races ranging from 5 kilometers to 100 miles. He has also qualified for both the Boston Marathon and the Western States 100 Mile Trail Race.

CEC director Sharalle Arnold praises Cataldo's efforts. "To be endowed and able to award scholarships, the fund must reach at least $30,000," she said. "Currently, the fund has about $5,000, so we are grateful to Jeremiah for his efforts to boost that amount. He will be easy to spot at the race as he will be wearing his very own Grand Valley blue Children's Enrichment Center t-shirt."

To donate to the Children's Enrichment Center Student Parent Scholarship fund in honor of Jeremiah's run, please follow this link to GVSU's scholarship donation form. For more information about the CEC and to follow Cataldo's progress, visit http://charity100.posterous.com/.