Building Happier, Healthier Kids at the Garfield Y
Summer is the time for kids to get up, get out and grow. But for some kids, exposure to activities that stimulate the body and mind ends with the school year. In fact, research shows that kids are prone to gain more weight and fall behind in studies. On April 26, the Garfield Y celebrated Healthy Kids Day®, our national initiative to improve the health and well-being of kids
Our celebration included the communities of Garfield, Saddle Brook, Wallington, Elmwood Park and Lodi. Families had a whole day filled with fun, active play and educational opportunities. Over 100 children attended with their family members.
Organized team sports like hockey and soccer were available as well as Zumba and swimming. Of course healthy snacks were on hand all day! Classroom learning was focused on making healthy snacks, and nutrition lesson plans. Using the CATCH curriculum, facilitators helped children identify foods that belong in the, “go, slow and woah,” categories so that children will recognize which foods they should eat plentifully and which foods they should reserve for the sometime and rare occasions.
The Garfield Y was joined back Hackensack University Medical Center who provided skin screenings, EPIC (Empower Peers Inspire Change) volunteers which consist of high school students who want to change community norms around underage drinking, The Garfield Prevention Coalition (born out of the Center for Alcohol and Drug Resources and EPIC) who want to engage not only children but adults in raising awareness of alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use, and The NJ Sharing Network who is committed to saving and enhancing lives through the miracle of organ and tissue donation and transplantation.
For the main event, Garden State Urban Farms and Master Gardens were on hand to help our families plant the new community garden at 33 Outwater Lane. 50 Earth boxes were planted on the property of 33 Outwater Lane in 3 different sections. The main community garden lot had strawberries and lemons planted, while the smaller senior herb garden had mint planted and the child care garden which will eventually grow pumpkins and sunflowers when weather permits had flowers planted in the boxes.
We’re looking forward to beautifying the garden in the coming month and to get our senior citizen members and preschoolers in the garden. For the time being, naming the garden is the task at hand.
As far as the success rate for Healthy Kid’s Day on 4/26? Check out these fantastic comments on our surveys shared with us by parents and kids: