The Y Wants to Awaken Summer Imagination at 28th Annual Healthy Kids Day® 
Nationwide events at more than 1,400 Y locations encourage kids to stay active and engaged all summer long

CHICAGO, (April 24, 2018) — YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) will celebrate the 28th annual Healthy Kids Day® nationally on Saturday, April 27. Healthy Kids Day is the Y’s national initiative to improve the health and well-being of kids and families, sponsored by the Howard Johnson® by Wyndham hotel brand. More than 1,400 Ys across the country in all 50 states are holding free community events that will feature a range of activities and games, healthy cooking demonstrations, arts and crafts, and more, all designed to awaken kids’ imaginations, while keeping them active and healthy during the summer and beyond.

“At the Y, we believe in the potential of all children, and we strive to help kids find that potential within themselves. Healthy Kids Day is a great reminder that children can reach that potential when they stay active in mind and body throughout the summer,” said Kevin Washington, President and CEO of YMCA of the USA. “In all 50 states, Ys across the country will open their doors to offer a wide range of programming to get kids moving and learning, creating positive routines they can use all summer long.”

In celebration of YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, the Y offers the following tips to help families develop healthy habits this summer that can have a lifetime effect:

  • High Five the Fruits and Veggies – Make sure kids get at least five servings of fruits and veggies each day, the minimum number nutritionists recommend for healthy childhood development. And to keep kids’ taste buds evolving, have everyone in the family try at least one bite of a new fruit or vegetable at least once a month.
  • Read Together – The summer is a great time to enjoy books with summer program participants—and 30 minutes a day goes a long way! Take trips to the local library or create a family reading challenge to see who can log the most minutes of reading. Encourage youth to create their own stories as well.
  • Get Moving! – Activities that require movement also help kids flex their mental muscle. Use materials in unique ways: ask youth to build models, manipulate tools or develop their own theatrical scenes.
  • Play Together – Play may be the best way to prevent childhood obesity. By putting more play into your family’s day, you will soon find yourself getting the activity that will have your family feeling energized and strong.
  • Make sleep a priority Doctors recommend 10-12 hours of sleep a day for children ages 5-12 and 7-8 hours per night for adults. Sleep plays a critical role in maintaining our healthy immune system, metabolism, mood, memory, and learning.

Howard Johnson is a proud national partner of the Y with three out of every four U.S. hotels located within just 10 miles of a local Y. In addition to supporting Healthy Kids Day, the brand offers all Y members up to 20 percent off stays at participating hotels across the country, with 10 percent of every booking benefiting the Y nationally. Learn more by visiting Opens a new window.

“All of us at Howard Johnson are incredibly proud to be supporting Healthy Kids Day, inspiring families to get active, spend quality time together and create smiles that last a lifetime,” said Clem Bence, Howard Johnson brand leader and vice president of operations. “Giving back to the communities where our hotels operate is fundamental to our values as a brand and we couldn’t be more excited to be partnering with the Y on such a meaningful initiative.”

Healthy Kids Day is celebrated by more than 1.2 million participants nationally in an effort by the Y to bring the community together and keep kids active. The Y believes that when a child is healthy, happy, and encouraged to use their imagination - amazing things happen. Conversely, research shows that without physical and learning activities—normally provided in-school—kids are at high risk for summer learning loss and gain weight three times faster during the summer than during the school year. As spring turns to summer, Healthy Kids Day is a powerful reminder to keep children’s imaginations and bodies active during the summer (and beyond!) so they can reach their full potential.

For more information Healthy Kids Day dates and activities in your community, along with information to ensure your family is as healthy and active as possible, please visit


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 22 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.

About Howard Johnson by Wyndham

Part of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Howard Johnson® by Wyndham is one of the world’s most iconic and well-known hospitality brands, spanning more than 335 hotels across North, Central and South America as well parts of the Middle East and Asia. Most locations offer free Wi-Fi and complimentary Rise & Dine® breakfast as well as a host of other amenities including swimming pools, fitness centers and more. Guests can also earn and redeem points with Wyndham Rewards®, the brand’s award-winning loyalty program, when they join for free at Opens a new window

Each Howard Johnson hotel is independently owned and operated under a franchise agreement with Howard Johnson International, Inc. (HJI), or its affiliate. Reservations and information are available by visiting Opens a new window.

Contacts: Emily Waldren YMCA of the USA 312-419-8756

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

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