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April 2, 2008 > Healthy Kids Day at Lake Elizabeth

Healthy Kids Day at Lake Elizabeth

By Sam Rao

Expect loads of children, parents and other family members at the at the Lake Elizabeth Performance Pavilion on Paseo Padre from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 12, as the 'Healthy Kids Day' in Fremont gets underway. "Healthy Kids Day and Week of the Young Child," the official name of this event, was created by the YMCA over 20 years ago in a nationwide celebration.

The Tri-City area welcomed Healthy Kids Day for the first time in an expanded format at Central Park in Fremont following the YMCA's decision to increase its outreach in the community and collaborate with other agencies. "This is the first time we are collaborating with other organizations and this is to expand our outreach to the community. We expect at least 500 families to have fun. We already have over 45 vendors, nonprofits and community organizations," said Melissa Dougherty, Activities director at the host Fremont/Newark YMCA.

Kids and families can expect a healthy family day with bouncy houses, games and activities, along with informative displays and food booths. Several physicians and healthcare professionals will be on hand, as well as health-related displays, with resources for a healthy lifestyle. The Red Cross booth will also be present to promote their services and community involvement.

Diverse performances will be displayed with groups like Top Flight Gymnastics, cheerleading squad 'Cheer with a twist,' dancing by Tahiti dancers, 'Flar de Mexico' dancers and others as well as demonstrations of Martial arts on the performance stage. Local dignitaries will be present and Fremont Mayor Bob Wasserman will address the gathering and present a proclamation from the City of Fremont.

The YMCA Healthy Kids Day community-based events celebrate making fitness fun, and introducing kids to an array of YMCA programs that teach healthy behaviors and healthy ways to play -an essential lesson in learning how to take care of themselves throughout their lifetimes. "The YMCA Healthy Kids Day is a free, fun-filled day of activities designed to promote healthy kids and families in spirit, mind and body. This is a national event organized by the YMCA around the country," said Dougherty.

The designated 'Week of the Young Child' is an annual celebration established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The purpose of the Week of the Young Child is to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families, and to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs.

Co-sponsoring the event in the Tri-City area is the Mission Valley Regional Occupational Program (MVROP). Instructors Janay Shepherd, who teaches early childhood education, and special education and marketing instructors will represent MVROP, along with about 10 student volunteers. At a recent open house at MVROP, Shepherd, along with nearly a dozen student volunteers, was already preparing materials for booths and other fun activities at the event. "We will be at Lake Elizabeth bright and early and are already getting ready to staff the various fun games at the booths," Shepherd said, visibly excited as she answered questions about the upcoming Healthy Kids Day. "The event is actually for the entire family and we are doing it in collaboration with the YMCA, Ohlone College's Early Childhood Studies Department, and Kidango," she added.

"Sponsors and organizations like the Palo Alto Medical Center in Fremont have donated T-shirts to all volunteers, and many other vendors like Jamba Juice and others will be providing food and snacks for purchase at the event. The fun-filled event has something for everyone and we want the whole community to participate with games, entertainment and to interact with various community vendors to celebrate the official 'Week of the Young Child,'" said Dougherty.

For more information about Healthy Kids Day call Dougherty at (510) 279-2907 or visit http://www.mvrop.org/web/students_events.html#healthykids.


YMCA's Healthy Kids Day and the Week of the Young Child
Saturday, April 12
10 a.m. -2 p.m.
Lake Elizabeth Performance Pavilion
40000 Paseo Padre Parkway, Fremont
(510) 279-2907
Free

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