Mississippi Gulf Coast YMCA Wants Kids to “Charge into Summer” During Annual Healthy Kids Day®

Mississippi Gulf Coast YMCA Wants Kids to “Charge into Summer” During Annual Healthy Kids Day®
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Event encourages kids to stay active and keep learning all summer long.

On Saturday, April 28, the Mississippi Gulf Coast YMCA is holding a community event in conjunction with the Junior Auxiliary of Biloxi/Ocean Springs 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. The day will consist of a 5K Run starting at 8:00am, and a FREE 1-Mile Fun Run for children ages 12 and under starting at 8:45am. The cost for the 5K is $16 for Gulf Coast Running Club members and $17 for the general public (non-running club members).

YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, celebrated at over 1,600 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 – this summer learning loss is more pronounced among students from low-income families. 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 “charging” kids up with enthusiasm for themselves and their potential.

“When a child is healthy, happy, motivated, and excited something amazing is inevitably going to result,” said Joey Conwill, Wellness Director, Mississippi Gulf Coast YMCA. “We see 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 Jodi Ryder, Community Impact Director, Mississippi Gulf Coast YMCA.

In celebration of YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, the Y offers the following tips to help families develop healthy habits:

• 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.
• Foster an Early and Ongoing Passion for Books – Read to and with your kids. Help children read at every age and every stage of their development.
• Team Up for Athletic Events – Set a family goal of great health by teaming up for community or charity events like races, walks, fun runs, bike rides, etc.
• Volunteer Together – Find a cause that matters to the kids. Open their eyes to a world beyond themselves and the rich rewards that come from making a difference.
• 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.

The Mississippi Gulf Coast YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day takes place at Fort Maurepas from 8:00am-11:00am and features fun, active play, and educational activities.

All kids deserve the best summer ever, and Delta is proud to be the national sponsor of Healthy Kids Day, which kicks off a healthy, active, and engaged summer for kids throughout the country.

For more information, contact Joey Conwill, Wellness Coordinator, at 228.875.5050 or jconwill@mgcymca.org; or contact Jodi Ryder, Community Impact Director, at 228.875.5050 or jryder@mgcymca.org.