While school may be out for the summer, the La Porte County YMCA believes learning healthy habits remains an important part of kids’ lives year-round. That’s why the YMCA, along with YMCAs nationwide, hosts Healthy Kids Day each year to promote both physical and mental healthy living to children and their families.
“We put on this event once a year for the kids, and it’s getting them ready for summer,” said Erika Kozlowski, Healthy Living Coordinator for the La Porte County YMCA. “This year it’s called ‘Awaken Your Summer Imagination,’ where we get kids ready to still continue reading and keeping up their health and hygiene.”
Nationally, the day is celebrated in April, but the La Porte County YMCA began hosting their event in June to coincide with La Porte’s weekly summer activity, Fitness Fridays.
“It brings out more people,” Kozlowski said. “They can bring their kids, and they can do the Fitness Fun Walk. It just makes for a healthier day for the whole family to get involved.”
Attendees were encouraged to participate in the 5K/Fun Walk and visit at least five vendors during the event to be entered into a bike raffle. Vendors included different healthcare, educational, and safety organizations from around the community. Each hosted an activity for the kids and/or offered giveaways such as free toothbrushes, books, and healthy snacks.
“It’s absolutely important to give back,” said Al’s Supermarket’s Angela Hamilton. “Al’s Supermarket has always made it a part of who we are to be part of the community and be able to give back, and it’s great to participate in an event like this, which is based around children and their health.”
Other popular stops included the La Porte Fire Department’s mock fire trailer that showed kids how to escape from a burning building, a magician who provided entertainment, and a Zumba instructor who showed the kids how to stay active and have fun at the same time.
The event was geared toward building healthy summer habits in the La Porte community, but the lessons hopefully made a lasting impact on the kids who attended.
“It’s important to encourage lifelong learning habits and development in order to better our community,” said Kiley Snyder, Youth Services Librarian at the La Porte County Public Library.
A new member of the community, Erin McKecknie, just recently moved to Indiana with her family. While researching resources in the area, she was excited to find a family health event similar to the ones her family attended back in Vermont.
“It’s kind of like a piece of home for the kids,” she said.
Healthy Kids Day teaches kids, as well as their families, how to make the most of their summer by staying active, eating right, and being aware of their daily health.
“It’s nice to have a healthy reminder once the kids are out of school, because sometimes that gets lost in the shuffle,” McKecknie said.
For more information on the La Porte County YMCA and the different events and programs it offers, visit http://www.lpymca.org/.
La Porte, IN 46350
Visit La Porte County Family YMCA Partner Profile