YMCA of South Hampton Roads Wants Kids to “Charge into Summer” During Annual Healthy Kids Day®
SOUTH HAMPTON ROADS, April 19, 2017—On Saturday, April 29 from 9am-noon, the YMCA of South Hampton Roads 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. This family event features activities such as color runs, family Zumba, relay races, pool games, and visits from community partners like police and fire departments to motivate and teach families how to develop healthy and safe routines at home.
YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, celebrated at over 1,600 Ys across the country by over 1.2 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 – this summer learning loss is more pronounced among students from low-income families. 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 “charging” kids up with enthusiasm for themselves and their potential.
“When a child is healthy, happy, motivated, and excited something amazing is inevitably going to result,” says Lynn Skeele-Flynn, Sr. Vice President of Program and Leadership Development. “We see 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,” says Skeele-Flynn.
In celebration of YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, the Y offers the following tips to help families develop healthy habits:
- High Five the Fruits and Veggies – Make sure kids get at least five servings a day, the minimum number nutritionists recommend to maintain 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.
- Foster an Early and Ongoing Passion for Books – Read to and with your kids. Help children read at every age and every stage of their development.
- Team Up for Athletic Events – Set a family goal of great health by teaming up for community or charity events like races, walks, fun runs, bike rides, etc.
- Volunteer Together – Find a cause that matters to the kids. Open their eyes to a world beyond themselves and the rich rewards that come from making a difference.
- 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, learning and other vital functions.
Healthy Kids Day takes place locally at all YMCA of South Hampton Roads locations from 9am to noon and features fun, active play and educational activities, such as color runs, family Zumba, relay races, pool games, and visits from community partners like police and fire departments. Activities vary by location so make sure to check out the Y’s website at ymcashr.org/hkd for a complete listing of locations and scheduled events.
As part of the Y's commitment to creating healthy kids, the YMCA of South Hampton Roads participates in the Y-USA's Year Round Food Program. With the generous support of the Walmart Foundation, the Year Round Food Program provides nutritious snacks to children enrolled in Y after-school and summer camp programs located in areas of high food insecurity throughout South Hampton Roads. To learn more about the Year Round Food Program, visit http://www.ymca.net/afterschool-meal-program.
For more information about Healthy Kids Day at the YMCA of South Hampton Roads visit ymcashr.org/hkd.