August 29, 2012
YMCA Hosts First Play Day
South Side YMCA campers enjoyed the brand new playground and a host of activities at launch of new program
Active play is a critical component of childhood development, and last Friday the YMCA was pleased to introduce another avenue that will get children in Chicagoland communities focused on getting physical and building healthy habits. In partnership with McDonald’s and the Greater Chicago Food Depository, the YMCA kicked off its first official Play Day at the South Side YMCA. Play Days is a curriculum based program that includes an afternoon of activities, a healthy lunch and a nutritional assessment to keep children growing and thriving.
YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago President and CEO Richard Malone welcomed 30+ volunteers who would devote their summer Friday afternoon to serving more than 200 South Side YMCA campers lunch, and leading them through activities including kickball and playing on South Side’s brand new playground. He told the group that many children living in the underprivileged communities in which the Y serves have never been outside the block radius of their school and homes.
“Through the YMCA and initiatives like Play Days, we hope to give these children more life opportunities and have our centers serve as a safe home away from home for them,” Malone said.
Before the play opportunities began, volunteers served the children a healthy lunch courtesy of the Greater Chicago Food Depository. After almost three hours of play time, children concluded the day by bringing home a goody bag stuffed with passes to the Y and healthy snacks. A Caremobile from Advocate Health Center also was on site that day for staff to give the children physicals.
South Side YMCA plans to host additional Play Days for children during school holidays, and both the YMCA and McDonalds have plans to take the program to other centers and other cities.
To keep current on the next Play Day opportunity, please visit ymcachicago.org.