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Healthy Kids Day set

The Alexandria Area YMCA is celebrating Healthy Kids Day today, Friday, with a free community event for kids and families in the greater Alexandria area.

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.

Research shows that without access to activities that stimulate the mind and body, kids are more prone to gain weight and fall behind academically over the summer months.

"At the Alexandria Area YMCA, 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 active in the summer," said Kara Elwood, associate executive director, Alexandria 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."

The Alexandria Area YMCA's event will take place at the Alexandria Area YMCA from 6 to 8 p.m. and will feature activities such as physical activity stations, and informational booths will feature community health care providers and swimming.

The Y holds Healthy Kids Day to teach healthy habits and inspire a lifetime love of physical activity through active play. As part of this initiative, the Y - along with hundreds of thousands of parents and kids nationwide - is taking on summer by addressing critical gaps in health and education that cause kids to be at risk for childhood obesity and suffer summer learning loss.

For more information, contact Elwood at (320) 834-9622 or visit