FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Steve Jobin, RARITAN BAY AREA YMCA
Aviva Woog-Irvin, HealthFirst NJ
Lynnette Davis, Raritan Bay Medical Center
Lourdes Illa, Alianza
Stuart Grant, United Way
732.247.3727 ext. 20
John Dowd, Middlesex County Office of Health Services
Partners support families to Play and Learn at Healthy Kids Day®, April 28
Perth Amboy, Middlesex County– On April 28, the RARITAN BAY AREA YMCA is celebrating Healthy Kids Day® with a free community event for kids and families in Perth Amboy and surrounding communities. More than 1,900 Ys across the country are taking part in the celebration, meant to kick start physical activity and learning throughout the summer – a critical out-of-school time for kids. Healthy Kids Day, a national initiative of the Y to improve the health and well -being of kids, is filled with fun, active play and educational activities that will help parents improve their kids’ lifestyles for the long term. This year the Y has partnered with many organizations, including Darryl Dawkins Former NETS player guest of HealthFirst, Raritan Bay Medical Center, the United Way of Central Jersey, the New Jersey Institute for Disabilities – Allianza, the Middlesex County Office of Health Services, ParamCare Foundation, and many others, that support the growth of a healthy family. Research shows that without access to activities that stimulate the mind and body, kids are more prone to gain weight and fall behind academicall y over the summer months.
"This program not only encourages our kids to stay active during their summer vacation, it also teaches them how to improve their health for the future," said Freeholder H. James Polos, Chairperson of the County's Public Safety and Health Committee, who added that by working collectively with the County's public health partners in raising awareness and promoting healthy behaviors, t he County is encouraging residents to "Eat Right - Move Right".
The RARITAN BAY AREA YMCA’s event will take place at 357 New Brunswick Avenue, Perth Amboy NJ from 10am – 2pm and will feature activities such as Family Group Exercise Classes, Youth Sports Competitions, Elementary School Swim Meet and much more. Also, April is Child Abuse Prevention month. In celebration of this month, there will be activities focusing on fostering families’ Social Connections with one another, as a means to prevent child abuse and neglect. In addition, information and resources will be available to educate the community of the need to be vigilant and watchful in order to protect our children.
Invited Honored guests include Perth Amboy Mayor Wilda Diaz, the Perth Amboy City Council, members of the Perth Amboy Board of Education, Senator Joe Vitale, Assemblyman Craig Coughlin & John Wisniewski, Freeholder Director Christopher Rafano and the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Commissioner Mary O’Dowd – Department of Health & Senior Services and Commissioner Allison Blake - Department of Children and Families.
“At the Y we know that when the school year ends, many kids lose exposure to activities that keep them moving and learning. Healthy Kids Day will help parents begin thinking early about what their kids need to stay physically and intellectually acti ve in the summer,” said Steve Jobin, President & CEO of the RARITAN BAY AREA YMCA “Summer is just around the corner and is an ideal time for kids to get out and grow so they are healthier and sharper when the next school year begins.”
In addition, the RARITAN BAY AREA YMCA is proud to host representatives from:
Healthfirst Health Plan of New Jersey, Inc. a not-for-profit health plan dedicated to providing affordable, quality care for the communities we serve and improving the effectiveness of healthcare delivery. On April 28th NBA former star Darryl Dawkins will be our guest and will engage with kids and families to promote the health & wellbeing of children and families.
Raritan Bay Medical Center’s Division of Integrative Medicine is holding an open house. Integrative medicine providers will o ffer visitors Reiki, Energy Medicine, Massage and other treatment samples, nutrition education and healthy recipes. Families can also participate in the group exercise class “Tai Chi in the Jungle” where they will tour ‘the jungle’ exercising with Tai Chi mov ements based on animals met along the way. Healthy snacks and information about the Division’s services will also be provided. Also, hands-only CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) demonstrations and button making for the kids will be offered.
Alianza is a family support program which brings help and hope for teens with disabilities and their families. Working with many community partners, Alianza assists families not only with disability concerns, but with many challenges which may confront the family. Located in Perth Amboy’s new YMCA, Alianza has quickly become an important resource in the community. The compassionate and responsive Alianza staff has helped hundreds of families with information and referrals, to navigate availa ble services, or with more intensive transition plans. Alianza provides important disaster readiness assistance to persons with disabilities and their families. Alianza also offers an array of recreation and support groups for teens, families and parent s.
The United Way of Central Jersey (UWCJ) was selected to sponsor the Child Abuse Prevention month activities by the New Jersey Department of Children and Families. The focus of this portion of the day is on strengthening families through social connections. UWCJ and its partners will present resources and activities in the tent outside the YMCA that are geared toward encouraging parents’ interactions with one another, as well as with the providers at the resource tables. The goal is to assist parents and families in linking together and forming bonds with one another that will last beyond the day itself.
“Middlesex County Office of Health Service is pleased to work with the YMCA and their partners on this program aimed to improve the health and wellbeing of our youngest residents," said Middlesex County Freeholder Director Christopher D. Rafano. "As a father myself, I know it is critical to teach our children the importance of fitness and good health."
ParamCARE Foundation is pleased to be part of this event intended to the wellbeing of our residents. Taking steps to promote this year’s theme for the minority health awareness month “Health Equity Can’t Wait. Act Now in Your Comm unity!” ParamCARE Foundation will be providing free Nutrition Counseling and easy, healthy snack demonstrations for participants to l earn and make at home. With an emphasis of utilizing the youth as educators themselves, not just as receivers of the educations, believing tha t they are a big influence on parents’ choices and that the message will be taken and shared at home.
For additional event information, please contact Steve Jobin at (732)442-3632 ext. 6501 or visit www.rbaymca.org.
About the Y
The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 21 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. ymca.net