Valley of the Sun YMCA Wants Kids to “Awaken Their Summer Imagination” During Annual Healthy Kids Day®

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On Saturday, April 21, from 9:00am-12:00pm, the Valley of the Sun YMCA will be holding free community events at 15 of their valley-wide locations. Branches will feature activities such as games, healthy cooking demonstrations, interactive experiences, and arts and crafts, designed to encourage kids to stay active and keep learning all summer long.

“When a child is healthy, happy, motivated, and excited, something amazing is inevitably going to result,” says Peyton Tune, Chief Operating Officer, Valley of the Sun YMCA.

On Saturday, April 21, the Valley of the Sun YMCA is holding free community events at 15 of their valley branches 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 events feature activities such as games, healthy cooking demonstrations, interactive experiences, and arts and crafts to motivate and teach families how to develop healthy routines at home.

YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, celebrated at over 1,600 Ys across the country by over 1.2 million participants, is the Y’s annual, nationwide initiative designed to inspire all youth, parents, and caregivers – regardless of membership status – to get active and make healthy choices over the summer and beyond. Healthy Kids Day is the Y’s largest single-day event celebrating youth development across the United States.

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.

At the Y, we believe kids can do anything with the right support. That’s why we are committed to helping kids get on (and stay on!) a healthy youth development journey that includes physical, cognitive, and social-emotional growth. From achieving goals, to making friends, and developing strong character, the Y supports youth from cradle to career. We know that kids gain weight faster during the summer months and that youth from low income neighborhoods are disproportionately affected by summer learning loss due to limited or no access to reading materials outside of school.

“When a child is healthy, happy, motivated, and excited, something amazing is inevitably going to result,” says Peyton Tune, Chief Operating Officer, Valley of the Sun 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 Tune.

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.

For more information, contact Kirsten Gray at kgray(at)vosymca(dot)org or visit http://www.valleyYMCA.org.

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About Valley of the Sun YMCA
Valley of the Sun YMCA is one of the largest human service nonprofit organizations in Arizona. As the one of the oldest nonprofits in the state, celebrating its 125th birthday in 2017, the YMCA serves local communities in Maricopa County, Pinal County, Yuma, Flagstaff, and Prescott, offering more than 250 programs and 26 social services at its statewide locations. Members are welcome regardless of gender, religion, or ethnicity. Financial assistance is also available to those who qualify. The YMCA aims to provide each member with every opportunity to reach farther and improve their lives and the lives of those around them. Through Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility, the YMCA’s goal is to inspire positive and lasting social change. For more information, visit http://www.valleyymca.org.

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