UNION COUNTY, NJ – On Saturday, April 29, The Gateway 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. The event features activities such as: a Summer Day Camp open house, family fun games, healthy information, arts and crafts, family Zumba, swimming and basketball to motivate and teach families how to develop healthy routines at home.
The Gateway Family YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day takes place at the Elizabeth Branch, 135 Madison Avenue, Elizabeth, Five Points Branch, 201 Tucker Avenue, Union and Rahway Branch 1564 Irving Street, Rahway from 12:00pm to 3:00pm and features fun, active play and educational activities. In addition, a Pedal for Prevention family bicycle ride is planned at the Wellness Center Branch, 1000 Galloping Hill Road, Union beginning at 3pm.
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 Krystal R. Canady, CEO, The Gateway Family YMCA. “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,” said Melynda A. Mileski, EVP/COO, The Gateway Family YMCA
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.
All kids deserve the best summer ever, and Delta is proud to be the national sponsor of Healthy Kids Day, which kicks off a healthy, active and engaged summer for kids throughout the country.
The Gateway Family YMCA is a cause-driven, non-profit charitable organization, serving Eastern Union County and Northern Middlesex County since 1900. With five branches in Elizabeth, Rahway and Union, the Y provides programs and services to meet the need of the changing communities in the areas of Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility.
For more information on The Gateway Family YMCA or Healthy Kids Day, visit www.tgfymca.org or contact The Gateway Family YMCA Elizabeth Branch 908-355-9622, Five Points Branch 908-688-9622, Rahway Branch 732-388-0057 or Wellness Center Branch 908-349-9622.
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