By LISA SCHLICHTMAN
The Monett Area YMCA will be hosting its annual Healthy Kids Day at the Monett South Park from 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 16.
The free event, which is being held for the seventh year, is open to all area kindergarten through fifth graders and their families. The local Y expects the effort to attract about 600 people.
Those participating in Healthy Kids Day will have the opportunity to get involved with a number of healthy and fun activities, including a one-mile fun run, facepainting, inflatables and lots of contests and games.
In addition, kids will receive free T-shirts, jump ropes and snacks. Entertainment will include a puppet show and performances by other local groups.
Activities are sponsored by the Barry County Health Department, Barry-Lawrence County Ambulance, Cox Monett Hospital, First United Methodist Church, Monett Area YMCA, the Monett Fire Department, the Monett Police Department and New Site Baptist Church.
"While we have all kinds of fun and positive activities for kids to do, the main purpose of the event is to get kids connected with activities in our community and healthy habits," said Gordon Brown, executive director of the Monett Area YMCA.
The one mile fun run is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. No preregistration is required, and those who plan to participate can just "show up," according to Brown.
Healthy Kids Day is the Y's national initiative to improve the health and well-being of families across the country. On this day, Ys across the United States hold events and encourage parents to make play dates with their kids every day as a simple way to become a healthier, more active and connected family.
At a time when one in three children and the majority of adults in the United States are overweight or obese (according to the Centers for Disease Control), developing healthier habits, that include increased physical activity, is more important than ever. As a leading nonprofit for healthy living, the Y holds Healthy Kids Day to teach good health for kids and inspire a lifetime love of physical activity.
For more information about Monett's Healthy Kids Day, call Stacy McKenzie at 235-8313.