On May 11, Pit River Casino General Manager Mike Avelar came to Tri Counties Community Network at the Intermountain Community Center to present a check for $5000 for the Kid Fit Program. The donation ensures that this year’s Kid Fit program will be fully funded.
Avelar said, “We are always happy to do whatever we can to help the community, because without the community we would not be here.”
Shaylene Herndon is the Kid Fit project manager. The program has 7 goals:
- Decreasing the incidence of Childhood Obesity in our region
- Increasing the level of physical activity by local families
- Raising awareness of healthy lifestyle choices
- Increasing use of our local parks, facilities, and other community programs
- Broadening understanding of healthy food and snack choices
- Building a stronger community by gathering families together in a healthy proactive way, and
- Collaborating with already established community events.
Kid Fit will host five free fun-filled events this year for families of all socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds.
The opening activity will be “Funky Fitness Fun” at Bailey Park at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 13.
On June 20, Kid Fit will sponsor a Night Hike at 6 p.m. at Burney Falls State Park.
On June 29, Kid Fit will host a Family Track and Field Night as one of the opening events of this year’s Burney Basin Days.
Tuesday, July 11, will feature “Splish, Splash, and and Swim” at the Raymond H. Berry Community Pool beginning at 6 p.m.
The final Kid Fit event for 2017 will be the “Master Mud Run” on Tuesday July 18 at Bailey Park at 6 p.m.
Herndon says, “We expect that Kid Fit Summer 2017 will benefit 150 plus children and their parents and result in over 5000 hours of documented physical activity.”
Kid Fit began in 2006 to address the obesity epidemic that was threatening the health of children in our country. Since that time, thanks to increased public awareness and changes in the food supply and school lunches, obesity rates have declined.
Changes in technology have caused decreased physical activity for children and adults. Eight to eighteen year olds spend an average of 7 hours and 11 minutes engaged with electronic screen media. This is an increase of 2.5 hours in the last ten years. As a result, children spend less time in traditional childhood activities and outdoor play.
According to Herndon, excessive screen time has been linked to increased psychological difficulties that include hyperactivity, emotional and conduct problems, difficulties with peers, and poor school performance.
Kid Fit is designed not only to increase physical activity but also to increase social connections. Research done by the Strengthening Families Program has shown that social connections promote family health, child well-being, and optimal youth development.
For more information about the Kid Fit Program call Shaylene Herndon at 430-335-4600.