PUTNAM — Research shows that children are prone to fall behind academically and gain weight two to three times faster during the summer months compared to the school year. i  To help families learn fun ways to stay physically and mentally active now and throughout the summer, the Hale YMCA Youth and Family Center will be hosting Healthy Kids Day® from 2 to 5 p.m. on April 21.
The event is one of 1,900 free YMCA community events taking place across the country, making it the nation’s largest health event for kids. In partnership with more than 30 local health, youth and education organizations, the Hale event will feature activities that will get families moving and motivated to create a healthy home environment for the summer months. Activities include: Water safety activities in the pool with the Hale YMCA aquatics team; Free vision screenings by the Killingly Quiet Corner Regional Lions; Games of Ga-ga with Camp Cutler counselors; Baby chickens from Woodstock Sustainable Farms;     Martial arts demonstrations with Quest Martial Arts; Chair massages and spinal screenings from Back and Body Chiropractic;     Bounce house, face painting and more; Kids will be given a passport to visit each station and when complete, they will be entered into a raffle for free YMCA memberships, classes and gear.
“Summer is the time for kids to get up, get out and grow. But for some kids, exposure to activities that stimulate the body and mind ends with the school year,” said Amanda Kelly, executive director of the Hale YMCA Youth and Family Center. “We’re thrilled to bring together the northeastern Connecticut community to rally around our children to ensure we all have a healthy, happy summer.”
“The Lions Club participated in Healthy Kids Day last year, and we jumped at the opportunity to come back as a community partner this year,” said Tom Kohl of the Killingly Quiet Corner Regional Lions. “We provide free vision screening for about 7800 children per year in local schools and Healthy Kids Day is another great way to reach kids in our community.”
Local Healthy Kids Day community partners include:  TEEG, Boy Scouts Troop 21, Eastern Ahec, Generations, Back and Body Chiropractic, Putnam Family Resource Center, DJ Dreadz, The Last Green Valley, Quest Martial Arts, NOW, Putnam Science Academy, Northeast District Dept. of Health, Young Marines, Putnam PRIDE, CHR, Camp Woodstock, Woodstock Sustainable Farms, Access, Putnam Fire Department,  Putnam EMS K9 Dogs, Woodstock Middle School Playground, UConn Dental, DKH Family Advocacy Center, DKH Marketing, NE Early Childhood Council, Lions Club, Carelot Children’s Center, Killingly Public Preschool/ Family Resource Center, Paige Chiropractic and Asthma Education.
For info:  www.ymca.net/healthy-kids-day or call 860-315-9622.
As part of the its efforts to improve the health and well-being of Connecticut families, the Hale YMCA offers the following tips to help families instill healthy habits during the summer:
1.   Grab your bikes and take a family bike tour. Explore new neighborhoods or peddle to a new park for an afternoon of play.
2.   Give your kids a jump rope. It’s an awesome way to have fun and stay active. They can go solo or encourage others to join in on the fun.
3.   Play the rainbow game. How many different colored fruits and veggies can your child eat in a day? Write down their totals on the fridge, or create a rainbow chart for the summer.
4.   Set aside time each day for the family to read, either together or separately, and discuss what you read over dinner.

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