By MARY RAINWATER
The Palestine YMCA is celebrating YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day® Saturday with a free community event that encourages children in Anderson County to get moving and learning, and families living healthier.
Healthy Kids Day, the Y’s national initiative to improve families’ health and well-being, takes place at 1,900 Ys and kick-starts healthier behaviors now and throughout the summer, a critical out-of-school time for children’s health.
Many U.S. children do not get the daily recommended hours of physical activity and reading, and daily amounts of healthy foods.
According to the latest findings of the YMCA’s Family Health Snapshot — a survey of parents that gauges their children’s activity levels during the school year — only 19 percent of children get 60 minutes of physical activity, only 17 percent read books for fun, and only 12 percent eat at least eight fruits and vegetables daily.
“At the Palestine YMCA, we know parents struggle to keep their kids physically and intellectually active every day,” Palestine YMCA Wellness Director Sharyn Hightower said. “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.”
Research shows that without access to out-of-school physical and learning activities, kids fall behind academically and gain weight twice as fast during summer than the school year.
Saturday’s event will help parents begin thinking early about what their kids need to grow and achieve all summer long.
The Palestine YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day takes place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Y, located at 5500 N. Loop 256 and features fun, active play and educational activities, such as the family friendly Y Color Dash.
The Y Color Dash is a one mile fun run/walk where the participants are splashed with color “dust” at different intervals, to end up with a colorful array on their clothes, hair, etc. The run starts at 11:30 a.m.
Supported by Palestine Regional Medical Center, the Palestine YMCA is proud to host representatives from the Pine Forest Karate Academy, who will be doing demonstrations as well as the Palestine Police Department, Texas Health Steps, Access/Star program, and others.
P3 Professional Sound & Lighting will be the DJ for the event, and Lee Loveless Photography will bring his photo booth and make picture cards available to remember the day’s event.
For more information, contact Palestine YMCA at 903-729-3139 or visit www.palestineymca.org.
Mary Rainwater may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org