Healthy Kids Day

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Healthy Kids Day, the YMCA's national initiative to improve health and well-being, will give area families an opportunity to learn about local recreational and health programs. The Cassville YMCA will hold its annual Healthy Kids Day event from 9 to 11 a.m. on Saturday.

"At the Cassville YMCA we know parents struggle to keep their kids physically and intellectually active every day," said Dove Haney, Cassville YMCA director. "We want to help ensure fewer kids are at risk of childhood obesity and more kids excel in school. YMCA's Healthy Kids Day will get kids moving and learning while also helping families get a jump on creating a healthier summer, and ultimately a healthier future."

According to the YMCA's Family Health Snapshot, which is a survey of parents that gauges children's activity levels during the school year, only 19 percent of children take part in physical activity 60 minutes each day and only 17 percent of children read books for fun. The study also showed that only 12 percent of children eat at least eight fruits and vegetables daily.

"The YMCA's mission is to promote youth development, social responsibility and healthy living through listening and responding to our communities' needs," said Haney. "Y activities such as Healthy Kids Day, youth sports, family fun nights and our after school programs give our children the opportunity to become confident kids of today and healthier, happier grown-ups of tomorrow.

"We help children and adults understand and value their health and nurture their well-being by offering guidance and programs to maintain or improve physical activity, health and wellness," continued Haney. "We believe that no child should be excluded from any program or opportunity due to the inability to pay so we offer financial assistance through our Strong Kids financial aid program."

The Cassville YMCA's Healthy Kids Day will offer fun, active play and educational activities, including: healthy snacks; free prizes; a one-mile fun run; bounce houses and inflatables; archery; rock wall climbing; beach ball volleyball; and basketball.

In addition, many local businesses, churches and organizations will take part in the event by offering activities and information to help area families plan a healthier summer.

Participating businesses and organizations will include: the Barry-Lawrence Regional Library; the Barry County Health Department; the Cassville Police Department; Barry Electric Cooperative; Humana; Emmanuel Baptist Church; ACCESS Family Care; the Missouri Department of Conservation; Roaring River State Park Hatchery; Girl Scouts; RWTB Family Martial Arts Center; and YMCA Camp Wakonda.

The first 100 children to attend the Cassville YMCA's Healthy Kids Day will receive free insulated lunch bags, sponsored by Barry Electric, Emmanuel Baptist Church, Arvest Bank and the Missouri Foundation of Health.

Healthy Kids Day will be held at 1,900 YMCA facilities across the country. The event is designed to kick-start healthier behaviors now and throughout the summer, a critical time for children's health. Research has shown that without access to out-of-school physical and learning activities, children fall behind academically and gain weight twice as fast during the summer months compared to the school year.

The YMCA's Healthy Kids Day is supported by the Ozark Regional YMCA and the Missouri Foundation of Health.

The Cassville YMCA is located at 408 State Highway 248 between Papa Vito's and Able 2.

For more information, call Haney at 846-1535 or visit orymca.org.

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