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Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2017:08:03 18:12:54

The YMCA gym will be decked out to welcome visitors.

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

Kids cavort at last year’s Healthy Kids Day.

We have two great YMCAs in the Advantage area and the arrival of April means an annual festival at both locations: Healthy Kids Day.

The Greater Scranton YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day event will take place at its facility at 706 N. Blakely St. in Dunmore on April 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Greater Scranton Family YMCAs are holding free community events at each of their facilities to inspire more kids to keep their minds and bodies active. This year marks the 27th annual YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, the Y’s national initiative to improve health and well-being for kids and families.

The following weekend, on April 28, the Greater Carbondale YMCA, 82 N. Main St. in Carbondale will hold its version of the event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Some features of the day will include: a kids’ fun run (pre-registration not required, starts at 10 a.m.), rides, petting zoo, face painting, magician, train ride, photo booth, bounce house, entertainment, health fair and more.

For more information, email jsalierno@greaterscrantonymca.org or visit greaterscrantonymca.org

“HKD offers youth the opportunity to speak to local businesses about healthy programs offered, learn how to eat healthy and participate in activities to stay active,” explained Lisa Burke, marketing coordinator for the Greater Carbondale Y. “There will be fun games, bounce houses and swimming, all for free.”

Also on the 28th, the YMCA will hold the 24th annual Fred Ciotti Memorial Race, a 5K run/walk and 1-mile fun run. Awards will be presented in a variety of age groups for men and women.

New this year: the course will include the Carbondale River Walk at Lackawanna River Heritage Trail. The first 300 registrants will receive the race T-shirt. Pre-register at the Y.

Both events are free and the public is welcome.

YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, celebrated at more than 1,300 Ys across the country by more than 1.2 million participants, works to get more kids moving and learning, and creating habits that they can continue all summer long, a critical time for kids’ health.

Research shows that without access to out-of-school physical and learning activities, kids fall behind academically. Kids also gain weight twice as fast during summer than the school year.

As spring turns to summer, Healthy Kids Day is a reminder not to let children idle away their summer days.

“When school’s out, it’s time to relax, decompress, and have fun with friends,” said Trish Fisher, president and CEO of the Greater Scranton Y. “Yet taking a break from school does not mean kids development is on vacation. Summer time at the Y focuses on the three key drivers of impact that inspire healthy youth development journeys: achievement, relationships and belonging. Through Y summer programs, the social-emotional, cognitive and physical development of all youth are nurtured and celebrated, resulting in the best summer ever.”