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YMCA Ready to Romp with Family Kids Day

April 12 Activate America festivities can be found at Paseo Nuevo.

The seven branches of the Channel Islands YMCA will join with more than 1,700 YMCAs nationwide for the 17th annual YMCA Healthy Kids Day on April 12. An opportunity for kids and families to “Put Play in Their Day,” this special event uses free, fun and creative activities to encourage children and families to adopt behaviors that support a healthy lifestyle.

The YMCA Healthy Kids Day exemplifies the YMCA’s "Activate America" response to the nation’s growing health crisis. The YMCA is redefining itself and engaging communities across the country to better support Americans of all ages who are struggling to achieve and maintain well-being in spirit, mind and body.

Channel Islands YMCA festivities will include representatives from local health, safety and educational organizations, along with games and activities designed to illustrate the fun in fitness, free nutritious snacks and giveaways. Healthy Kids Day activities will be held at these locations on April 12:

• Santa Barbara: Paseo Nuevo center courtyard, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., hosted by the Santa Barbara, Montecito and Youth & Family Services YMCA branches. For more information, contact Lynnette Ferrari at 805.969.3288 x14.

• Santa Ynez: Stuart C. Gildred Family YMCA, 900 N. Refugio Road, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Contact Cassie Silvola at 805.686.2037 x230.

• Lompoc: Lompoc Family YMCA, 201 W. College Ave., 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Contact Robert Hamilton at 805.736.3483.

• Ventura: Ventura Family YMCA, 3760 Telegraph Road, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Contact Amy Bailey at 805.642.2131 x24.

• Camarillo: Camarillo Family YMCA, 3111 Village at the Park Drive, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Contact Rachel McKnett at 805.484.0423 x18.

YMCA Healthy Kids Day is supported by the American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, American Public Health Association, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors.

Throughout its nearly 160-year history as a volunteer and charitable organization, the YMCA has continually evolved to meet the changing needs of the communities and individuals it serves. Today, a new set of issues is calling the YMCA to act.

• Our nation’s lifestyle health choices are contributing to increased rates of disease and reduced quality of life.

• Families are finding it difficult to balance their work, family and civic life.

• Youth, regardless of family income, are not receiving the support they need to develop positive skills and values that can guide them throughout their life.

“The challenge is that many families see healthy living as an all-or-nothing proposition. Through this lens, achieving a healthier lifestyle can seem overwhelming or out of reach,” said Ferrari, the Channel Islands YMCA’s Activate America project manager.

“YMCA Healthy Kids Day shows families and kids that making healthy choices can be easy, fun and accessible to everyone."

Additional resources will be available to help children and families achieve their greatest potential from building better bonds together to improving their physical health and nutritional well-being.

“So many families and individuals desire a healthier and happier life but struggle to sustain it," Ferrari said. "Whether they are in our YMCA facilities, out in the community or in their own homes, we want families to know that we are here to help them find a way to start making new habits, as well as a supportive community to help them along the way.”

YMCA Healthy Kids Day is generously sponsored by companies dedicated to improving the health and wellness of American children and families, including the Disney Channel, Eli Lilly & Co., Northwestern Mutual Foundation and Tropicana.

Click here for more information about YMCA Healthy Kids Day or call Ferrari at 805.969.3288 x14.

Susan Sawyer is communications and marketing director of the Channel Islands YMCA.

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