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YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day is Saturday

WORTHINGTON — Numerous events and activities will await children during Saturday’s Health Kids Day at the Worthington Area YMCA. 

From 10 a.m. to noon, children ages 4 and older are invited to the YMCA, 1501 College Way, to participate in activities that will teach them about living healthy. The event is free and open to both members and non-members of the YMCA.

“It’s a nice day; kids get to come in here and see the Y,” Program Director CJ Nelson said. “They get to be involved in an activity where it doesn’t cost them anything. They get to learn about being healthy, and a lot of different people in the community are involved. It’s a nice event.”

The program, which is a nationwide initiative, will feature games, arts and crafts and healthy snacks. The Optimist Club will also give away four bicycles.

The Worthington Police Department will bring a squad car, the Worthington Fire Department will bring a fire truck and Sanford will bring an ambulance for children to examine. The Red Cross will also do an activity.

“We’re always about fire safety,” Worthington Fire Chief Rick von Holdt said. “It would be beneficial for kids as far as awareness for playing with matches, lighters or something like that. We don’t want kids to be scared of us. We want them to get to know their firefighters and know that we are there to help and protect them.”

Hy-Vee will provide a nutritional snack for the children, and the Optimist Club will have apples and string cheese.

The Nobles County Library is scheduled to do a craft activity.

“I think the biggest thing is reaching out to kids and saying it’s OK to be active, and it’s also OK to eat some healthy foods,” Nelson said. “Hy-Vee is going to talk a little bit about what healthy is when they are here. It’s trying to do the best you can in a quick stint to keep kids moving around and talk about what’s healthy and what’s not.”

YMCA staff, including Nelson and Health and Fitness Director Cory Greenway, will organize physical activities.

“The sports wall is going to be going,” Nelson said. “We’re going to have obstacle courses and relay-type stuff and different games.”

The first 75 children will receive a free Healthy Kids Day T-shirt.

“It’s for both parents and kids,” Nelson said. “They get to walk around and everybody talks about what their job is and what they are doing that’s healthy for kids, and what kids can do to keep active.”

Community Content Coordinator Aaron Hagen may be reached at 376-7323.