By LISA CAPOBIANCO
Wheeler Regional Family YMCA is gearing up to kick off the YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day this weekend.
The goal of the free community event is to get children to become active and to help families learn how to live healthier. Wheeler’s Healthy Kids Day serves as the YMCA’s national initiative to improve the health and well-being of families. Between fun active play and educational activities, Healthy Kids Day not only helps children become healthy, but it also helps them reach their full potential.
Millions of children and families are expected to participate in nearly 1,600 events nationwide, reported the national YMCA’s website.
Bob Nenna, the executive director of Wheeler Regional Family YMCA, said Healthy Kids Day often brings between 200 and 300 families each year.
“It is a nice event to kick off the spring,” said Nenna, adding the event also serves as a fun way to give back to the community.
Aquatics Director Amanda Robles of Wheeler Regional Family YMCA said the event serves as a great away to “get children outdoors,” adding they will have a number of opportunities to become active. Robles said a “Fun Run” will occur during the beginning of the event to get the children pumped with excitement. During the Fun Run, children will run four laps around the track.
Healthy Kids Day will feature field games, interactive fitness activities, healthy snacks, face painting, raffles, and giveaways. The event also will feature a bounce house and a “Take Apart” station, which will give children an opportunity to explore how things work by taking apart old appliances. Nenna said a graduate of the YMCA’s LIVESTRONG Program has run the station for three years now, interacting with children as they indulge in taking apart the appliances.
LIVESTRONG is a 12-week program that helps adult cancer survivors overcome the effects of fatigue and deconditioning from treatment and the disease.
“It has become one of our more popular stations that day,” said Nenna. “The kids really get engaged with it.”
Special guests include the Plainville Fire and Police Departments, the Plainville Children’s Library, and AAA. State police will also present demonstrations on seatbelt safety using the Convincer and what happens during a rollover vehicle crash with the Rollover machine.
“It’s a fun way to promote being safe,” Robles said.
Healthy Kids Day will take place on Saturday, April 26 from noon to 3 p.m. at the Wheeler Regional YMCA, 149 Farmington Ave. in Plainville. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call (860) 793-9631 or visit www.wheelerymca.org.