Grantee Blog 2020

Let’s Play Together

During our first round of NJHCN funding (2018-19), we worked with Wayne Township to document all of the parks (with and without amenities) in an effort to help the community discover and access these resources for recreation and physical activity.  In our second round of funding (2020-21), we are leveraging that information to offer a physical activity initiative for elementary school children and their families to get outdoors, move and safely interact with peers after nearly a year of isolation and inactivity brought on by the Pandemic.

Staff from both the Y and township Parks & Recreation Department will lead kids and families in pop-up playground style games and sports to get kids moving. Some of the activities planned include games like tag, relay races, and Bubble Soccer. Activities are offered at no cost to participants and geared toward elementary age children, with the program rotating through various locations throughout the township, mostly parks.  Activities will take place twice a week from May through June, resuming September through October.

Public health experts recommend children ages 6-17 engage in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity each day. However, numerous studies this past year have indicated kids have been overall less active because of the pandemic, even though exercise is essential to healthy development, can improve mental health, and even boost school performance.

After a year of distance learning, increased isolation and fewer opportunities for face-to-face interaction, kids are in need of outlets for play and to be together with other kids, which are important elements for building positive childhood experiences and resilience, and mitigating some of the negative impacts of the Pandemic.  It is time to get outdoors and PLAY TOGETHER.

About the Grantee

Wayne YMCA

The Wayne YMCA is charitable nonprofit organization that serves as the center of community and culture in Wayne Township. We are a powerful association of men, women and children joined together by a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility. At the Y, strengthening community FOR ALL is our cause.