Washington County Family YMCA Wants to Awaken Summer Imagination at Annual Healthy Kids Day®

On Saturday, April 13, the Washington County Family YMCA is holding a free community event to inspire more kids to keep their minds and bodies active at the annual YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day®, the Y’s national initiative to improve health and well-being for kids and families Sponsored by the Howard Johnsons® by Wyndham hotel brand, Healthy Kids Day is an opportunity to ignite children’s imaginations so that they can imagine what they’ll accomplish this summer. The event features activities such as Nerf Gun Wars, healthy food taste testing, large yard games provided by LifeSpring Health Systems, and martial arts demonstrations to motivate and teach families how to develop and maintain healthy routines at home throughout the summer months.
Healthy Kids Day, celebrated at over 1,500 Ys across the country by over one million participants, works to get more kids moving and learning, creating habits that they continue all summer long. When kids are out of school, they can face hurdles that prevent them from reaching their full potential. Research shows that without access to out-of-school learning activities, kids fall behind academically. Kids also gain weight twice as fast during summer than the school year. As spring turns to summer, Healthy Kids Day is a powerful reminder not to let children idle away their summer days. Instead, the Y wants families to focus on helping children imagine what they can accomplish over the summer.
“When a child is healthy, happy, and supported they can make great things happen,” says Chelsey Miller, Youth First Director, Washington County Family YMCA. “We believe in the potential of all children, and we strive to help kids find that potential within themselves. A child’s development is never on vacation and Healthy Kids Day is a great opportunity to educate families and motivate kids to stay active in spirit, mind and body throughout the summer,” said Chelsey Miller, Washington County Family YMCA.
“All of us at Howard Johnson are incredibly proud to be supporting Healthy Kids Day, inspiring families to get active, spend quality time together and create smiles that last a lifetime,” said Clem Bence, Howard Johnson brand leader and vice president of operations. “Giving back to
the communities where our hotels operate is fundamental to our values as a brand and we couldn’t be more excited to be partnering with local Ys across the country on such a meaningful initiative.”
Howard Johnson has been a proud national partner of the Y for the past two years and three out of every four Howard Johnson hotels are located within just 10 miles of a local Y. In addition to supporting Healthy Kids Day, the brand offers all Y members up to 20% off stays at participating hotels across the country, with 10% of every booking benefiting the Y nationally.
Keeping Kids Healthy All Summer Long
In celebration of YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, the Y offers the following tips to help families develop healthy habits this summer that can have a lifetime effect:
• High Five the Fruits and Veggies – Make sure kids get at least five servings of fruits and veggies each day, the minimum number nutritionists recommend for healthy childhood development. And to keep kids’ taste buds evolving, have everyone in the family try at least one bite of a new fruit or vegetable at least once a month.
• Read Together – The summer is a great time to enjoy books with summer program participants—and 30 minutes a day goes a long way! Take trips to the local library or create a family reading challenge to see who can log the most minutes of reading. Encourage youth to create their own stories as well.
• Get Moving! – Activities that require movement also help kids flex their mental muscle. Use materials in unique ways: ask youth to build models, manipulate tools or develop their own theatrical scenes.
• Play Together – Play may be the best way to prevent childhood obesity. By putting more play into your family’s day, you will soon find yourself getting the activity that will have your family feeling energized and strong.
• Make sleep a priority – Doctors recommend 10-12 hours of sleep a day for children ages 5-12 and 7-8 hours per night for adults. Sleep plays a critical role in maintaining our healthy immune system, metabolism, mood, memory, and learning.
The Washington County Family YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day takes place at the Washington County Family YMCA Soccer Fields from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm and features fun, active play and educational activities, such as Nerf Gun Wars, healthy food taste testing, large yard games provided by LifeSpring Health Systems, and martial arts demonstrations.
Locally, Healthy Kids Day is sponsored by Jeans’ Extrusions, WOW – Working on Wellness, Fox Purlee Wealth Management, and Rotary Club of Salem.
For more information, contact Washington County Family YMCA at 812.883.9622 or visit www.wcfymca.org.
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As always, the YMCA’s values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility will be modeled and encouraged throughout the program. For more information on how YOU can impact our
community, or to learn more about how to give, contact CEO Kristy Purlee at our location at 1709 N. Shelby Street, Salem, IN 47167 or Kristy@wcfymca.org.

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