HTG_WebsiteDigitalImage_300x250When children and teens are out of school, many face challenges related to health, learning, water safety and safe spaces, which prevent them from reaching their full potential.

Caring staff and volunteers at The Community YMCA are playing a key role in helping local children to overcome these challenges this summer by providing a safe, nurturing place to learn, stay healthy and build friendships.

“Without access to daily lessons, enrichment and exercise, kids are at risk of falling behind during the summer months,” said The Community YMCA President and CEO Rhonda Anderson.

Despite an abundance of information about keeping kids healthy, 76 percent of parents fall short on knowing the recommended healthy eating and physical activity standards for their children. That lack of knowledge translates to lax healthy behavior during the school year, and in many areas, escalates during the summer months, putting kids at greater risk of learning loss and weight gain.

•    64 percent of parents admit that their kids spend three or more hours a day online or watching TV in the summer
•    Less than 50 percent of kids eat the recommended amount of vegetables

“This summer, we’re helping parents turn their good intentions into reality with programs designed to strengthen their kids’ minds and bodies and keep them on track for good health and academic success year-round.”

That includes offering youth development programs at the following locations:
•    Family Health & Wellness Center, Red Bank
•    Bayshore Family Success Center, Leonardo
•    Camp Zehnder, Wall
•    Matawan Children’s Achievement Center, Matawan

Programs, such as summer camps, swim lessons, tutoring, Picasso Preschoolers, Fit & Fun Club, and Girls Soccer Club, are just some examples of the many ways the Y helps kids and teens “hop the gaps” that threaten their health and wellness and academic progress during the summer months.

Join us this summer to help our children hop the gap and overcome barriers to achieve more by visiting our Hop the Gap Web site.