The YMCA of Metropolitan Chattanooga will celebrate Healthy Kids Day on Saturday, with a free community event for kids and families throughout the Chattanooga, Cleveland and Dayton communities. More than 1,900 Ys across the country are taking part in the celebration, meant to kick start physical activity and learning throughout the summer – a critical out of school time for kids.
The YMCA of Metropolitan Chattanooga’s event will take place at the Hamilton Place Mall, North River Family YMCA, Cleveland Family YMCA, Downtown YMCA and the Rhea Family YMCA from 9 a.m. to noon. It will feature activities such as games, healthy snacks, races and information booths.
The Hamilton YMCA will host Healthy Kids Day at the Hamilton Place Mall on Saturday, from 1-4 p.m. to encourage families to engage in fun fitness activities for a healthy future. Children will receive a goody bag and “I’m an active kid” bracelet for participating in five active stations and learning about staying fit and making healthful food choices. They can also have fun in the bounce house and watch Zoomba, Karate, and kids personal training demonstrations and more. Staff from Memorial Health Care System will be on hand to provide parents and mall goers with free blood pressure and BMI screenings.
Healthy Kids Day will also raise awareness for the Strong Kids campaign. Each year the YMCA has a Strong Kids campaign to raise funds to provide scholarships for children and families who have no means to pay for memberships or programs like Y Camp and sporting activities.
Chris Knox, executive director of the Hamilton YMCA said, “I recently learned that nearly one-third of all kids in America are overweight or obese. In my mind, that’s an epidemic we need to stop now. Can you image what life will be like for those kids as adults? Or how it will impact our workforce of the future? I know we have great resources locally to change the future for the kids."
Healthy Kids Day, a national initiative of the Y to improve the health and well-being of kids, is filled with fun, active play and educational activities that will help parents improve their kids’ lifestyles for the long term. Research shows that without access to activities that stimulate the mind and body, kids are more prone to gain weight and fall behind academically over the summer months.
“At the YMCA of Metropolitan Chattanooga , we know that when the school year ends, many kids lose exposure to activities that keep them moving and learning. Healthy Kids Day will help parents begin thinking early about what their kids need to stay physically and intellectually active in the summer,” Interim CEO Rick Madison, said. “Summer is just around the corner and is an ideal time for kids to get out and grow so they are healthier and sharper when the next school year begins.”
As part of its efforts to further the well-being of children and families, the Crown Dodge Dealership of Chattanooga will co-host a special Ride and Drive event featuring its line of Dodge brand family vehicles to help encourage driver, passenger and family safety. For every test drive taken at the event, the Dodge brand will contribute $20 to the North River Family YMCA and Aquatic Center only. Dodge Ride and Drive events will be taking place at 20 Healthy Kids Day events across the country. In 2011, Dodge donated more than $21,000 to participating Ys from Healthy Kids Day test drives.
A leading nonprofit committed to strengthening community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, the Y holds Healthy Kids Day to teach healthy habits and inspire a lifetime love of physical activity through active play. As part of this initiative, the Y – along with hundreds of thousands of parents and kids nationwide – is taking on summer by addressing critical gaps in health and education that cause kids to be at risk for childhood obesity and suffer summer learning loss.
Healthy Kids Day is supported by Coca Cola and BiLo. The Dodge brand is the national sponsor of Healthy Kids Day.
For more information, contact the local YMCA at or visit ymca.net.