July 16, 2022 - Sunshine and smiles radiated from the Berkeley Heights Community Pool at the YMCA as 200+ participants joined to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Healthy Kids Day® at the Y. Families, pool members, Y staff, volunteers, and local organizations came together to celebrate and raise awareness about the importance of healthy eating, physical activity, mental and emotional health, and developing healthy habits.
The day was filled with purposeful, fun, and action packed activities meant to stimulate movement and inspire healthy living in the mind, body and soul. The day's activities included: the alphabet exercise, Zumba, a ballet dance demonstration, fruit art, fresh juice taste testing, foot dart, gaga ball, planting vegetable seeds, swim races, swim evaluations, bike safety, discussions at local organization tables, and much more. Kids were tasked with filling out their very own Healthy Kids Day® Passports, visiting each station and collecting stickers for each activity they completed. This sparked them to try new things, engage with staff and volunteers, and encouraged their curiosity by asking questions and learning more about healthy habits. At the end of the event, passports were submitted to win one of 4 prizes, free private open gym time, weekend passes to the pool, 1-month free family membership at the Y and a personal training session.
While all of the activities were fun and engaging, our top three had to be; the alphabet exercise, foot dart, and of course trips down our brand new water slide! For the alphabet exercise, participants had to spell their name out with letter associated exercises to receive their pick at a book (donated by our local library), it was a fun way to introduce new exercises to kids; ex. "Can you show me what a bicycle crunch is?". Foot dart, is not something many people have seen or played before! Where you kick Velcro soccer balls onto a giant Velcro "dart board" to hit the bullseye. It was also a great opportunity for kids to participate in a friendly competition and keep them moving. Our new water slide was a total hit! Both kids and adults were constantly getting back in line for another turn!
"Healthy Kids Day is such a great event that brings the whole community together, families, volunteers, Y staff, and local organizations. There are not too many events that include something for everyone. It was a beautiful day and we had a great turn out! The pool was packed with people of all ages swimming, dancing, exercising, trying healthy foods, gardening and engaging with others. It was nice to see the children completing all the activities, doing the alphabet exercises, reading, and overall just having fun being kids," said Tiffany Escott, Director of Mission Advancement & Development.
Healthy Kids Day®, entered its 30th year in 2022, as the Y’s national initiative to improve health and well-being for kids and families. It is celebrated at over 1,500 Ys across the country by over one million participants. 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. Kids also gain weight twice as fast during summer than the school year. Following a year filled with numerous changes and uncertainty, Healthy Kids Day® is a reminder to families that we can help ensure all children have access to the key ingredients to reach their full potential, even during out-of-school time. In addition, we believe healthy and active kids, grow to become healthy and active adults.
At the Y, one of our main goals is encouraging the youth in our community to become informed, engaged, and passionate about their own mental, physical, and nutritional health. Daily we work on educating and inspiring children in our community to discover their full potential. The Y strives to enable children’s development and find ways to express themselves while they continue to grow. To learn more about Youth Programs at the Summit Area YMCA, visit www.thesay.org/youth.
Thank you to all our hardworking volunteers, staff, and local organizations who made Healthy Kids Day® possible. We call our 2022 event a huge success! We truly appreciate the participation from our event partners; The NJ Ballet, Union County Department of Health, The Berkeley Heights Police, Berkeley Heights Public Library, GRACE, NJ Cares, The Original Dream Juicer, Thoro, CFBNJ SNAP Outreach, Scott Cook Photography, Beverly Boy Productions, and Y-USA.
We'd also like thank all our members and guests who participated in the event and hope you can join us again next year!
In 1886, we were founded as the Young Men's Christian Association, but today, we are The Y. An association that values, and is made stronger by, its diverse people. We stand for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility — For a better us. We are committed to creating equal opportunity for all regardless of gender, age, disability, income, ethnicity, sexual orientation or religious affiliation. We strive to create a welcoming and inclusive culture in which our four core values — responsibility, honesty, caring and respect — are integral to everyday operations.
Each year, as one of the area’s leading 501(c)3 charitable organizations, the Summit Area YMCA serves more than 15,000 individuals with our free and fee-based programs and services in an area spanning the New Jersey communities of Berkeley Heights, Gillette, Millburn, New Providence, Short Hills, Springfield, Stirling and Summit. Our history is rooted in working side-by-side with our neighbors to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. Through the generosity of our members, donors, and partners, we are able to offer financial assistance for our programs and services to those in need.