YMCA And Area Agencies Come Together To Help Families Focus on the Needs of Our Children
DAVENPORT, Iowa - April 1, 2010 - As part of a nationwide effort to encourage kids to get moving, the Scott County Family Y will host YMCA Healthy Kids Day, the nation's largest health day for kids and families as part of the Quad Cities National Week of the Young Child.
April 11-17 is designated as The National Week of the Young Child. In the Quad Cities, more than a dozen trusted community child and family agencies have come together to host a variety of events focused on the needs of young children and their families. The week will kick off with a special opening ceremony at the Bettendorf Family Museum on Sunday, April 11. The Museum in partnership with Family Resources will host this celebration from Noon - 4 p.m. and the Museum will offer half price admission that day.
There will be additional activities throughout the week including opportunities to hear speakers regarding issues facing our children as well as other events in cooperation with local agencies including the YMCA, Scott County Kids Empowerment, the Davenport Public Library, Lutheran Social Services and the Child Abuse Council.
The big finale to this week-long celebration is YMCA Healthy Kids Day on Saturday, April 17. The event is fun-filled day of engaging and creative activities that foster healthy living, and is a part of the YMCA's larger efforts to help more kids and families become physically active.
YMCA Healthy Kids Day
YMCA Healthy Kids Day, a free community event, will be held in three locations this year. The Two Rivers YMCA in Moline, Illinois and the Maquoketa Area Family YMCA in Maquoketa, Iowa will host activities from 9am - Noon. The event will also be held from 1-4pm at the West Family YMCA, 3503 West Locust Street, Davenport.
In addition to the fun, the day will provide resources to help educate grown-ups about making healthy choices for their families every day. More than 30 area children's organizations will interactive activities and games at the West Family YMCA event and will focus on topics such as personal safety, health and wellness, reading advancement and body development. And thanks to Healthy Kid's Day partner, the Davenport Community School District, nationally known children's entertainer, Steve Couch, will give a special concert at 3:30pm. In addition to the concert, the first 300 children attending YMCA Healthy Kids Day will get Healthy Family Home activity books and a lunchable sample, compliments of Kraft-Oscar Mayer Foods.
"Keeping kids healthy is at the core of what the YMCA stands for," said Deb Gustafson, Executive Director of Child Care and Family Services for the Scott County Family Y. "The word 'exercise' doesn't sound very enjoyable to many people, especially kids, but getting them to move more through play that requires physical activity is the key to building healthy habits that last a lifetime. On YMCA Healthy Kids Day, both kids and grown-ups will have the opportunity to get moving, to play and to have fun."
Experts recommend that kids engage in at least 60 minutes of physical activity, including active play, each day. Studies show that kids who consistently engage in play are happier and healthier, and develop and enhance a variety of skills including motor skills, social skills, problem solving, and creativity. Kids who get 60 minutes of physical play also tend to have higher self-esteem and perform better academically.
"The goal of encouraging kids to play more is to build a lifetime of love for physical activity," said Gustafson. "Play should not seem like a chore - it is an activity that is fun and brings joy and allows a kid to just be a kid."
YMCA Healthy Kids Day is supported locally by Scott County Kids Empowerment and the Davenport Community School District and nationally by Northwestern Mutual Foundation and Tropicana. Quad Cities National Week of the Young Child partners include : the Davenport Public Library; Care For Kids; Family Resources, Inc; I-Smile; Lutheran Social Services; Mississippi Bend AEA; the Putnam Museum; Community Action of Eastern Iowa; Iowa Child Care Resource & Referral; Scott County; Scott County Kids Empowerment and your Quad Cities YMCAs.
For more information about Healthy Kids Day or a complete list of National Week the Young Child activities, visit the Scott County Family Y website, www.ScottCountyFamilyY.org.