YMCA of Coastal Georgia Wants to Awaken Summer Imagination at Annual Healthy Kids Day May 5th

Staff Report From Savannah CEO

Monday, April 16th, 2018

On Saturday, May 5, the YMCA of Coastal Georgia is holding a free community event at every location 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. Healthy Kids Day is an opportunity to ignite children’s imaginations so that they can imagine what they’ll accomplish this summer.  The family-friendly event features activities such as swim testing, kids and family fitness demos, Book walks, live music, camp games and healthy snack stations to motivate and teach families how to develop and maintain healthy routines at home throughout the summer months.
Healthy Kids Day, celebrated at over 1,500 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. 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 helping children imagine what they can accomplish over the summer.
“When a child is healthy, happy, and supported they can make great things happen,” says Joel Smoker, President & CEO of YMCA of Coastal Georgia. “We believe in 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 Smoker.
Keeping Kids Healthy All Summer Long
In celebration of YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, the Y offers the following tips to help families develop healthy habits this summer that can have a lifetime effect:
- 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.

- Read Together – The summer is a great time to enjoy books with summer program participants—and 30 minutes a day goes a long way! Take trips to the local library or create a family reading challenge to see who can log the most minutes of reading. Encourage youth to create their own stories as well.

- Get Moving! – Activities that require movement also help kids flex their mental muscle. Use materials in unique ways: ask youth to build models, manipulate tools or develop their own theatrical scenes.

- Play Together – Play may be the best way to prevent childhood obesity. By putting more play into your family’s day, you will soon find yourself getting the activity that will have your family feeling energized and strong.

- 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 will take place at each YMCA of Coastal Georgia location and features fun, active play and educational activities. Details for all locations are listed below:
Effingham YMCA: 10 am  - 1 pm

Golden Isles & McIntosh YMCA: 11 am - 1 pm

Habersham YMCA: 10 am  - 1 pm (Special thanks to sponsor David Pence with Allstate Insurance)

Islands YMCA: 10 am - 2 pm

Liberty County/ Armed Services YMCA: 11 am  - 2 pm

Richmond Hill YMCA: 11 am - 2 pm

Statesboro Family YMCA: TBD

Tybee Island YMCA: 11 am - 2 pm (April 28th)

West Chatham YMCA: 10 am - 1 pm