Here’s how you can keep your kids entertained in a healthy, fun way

YMCA offers variety of programs

Girls on the Run from the YMCA on Live in the D

Parents know that keeping kids active and engaged has never been more challenging than in the last year.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, kids have been enduring so much while experiencing many of the life changes of growing up. Luckily, there are local programs that can help as we continue powering through a difficult time.

The YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit hosts a variety of programs for kids that are both virtual and in-person. For example, Its Girls on the Run program works to empower young girls in the community.

Kelly Picoharczyk, with the YMCA, spoke to Tati Amare about the program.

Girls on the Run is a youth development and social and emotional program for girls in grades (three) through eight,” Picoharczyk said. “It uses interactive running games that teach and encourage girls to develop a healthy lifestyle. Every lesson builds upon each other: Girls learn life skills, like how to process emotion, how to stand up for themselves, and how to practice empathy, inclusion and acceptance. It is an eight-week program that culminates with a 5k run. This run helps give girls a sense of accomplishment. Girls can participate in the program virtually or in person.”

Adults can also participate in Girls on the Run by volunteering as a coach or by fundraising. The YMCA provides all training and materials for a successful season, and you do not have to be a runner to coach.

If fundraising is more your speed, the YMCA is currently hosting their annual Love To Run Marathon. It is the fourth year for the run, and it ensures all girls, regardless of income level, can participate in Girls on the Run. It’s worth noting that the marathon is virtual.

Learn more about Girls on the Run by clicking or tapping here.

In addition to Girls on the Run, The YMCA also offers Arts Afterschool Media Club, in which teens work with teaching artists and media professionals to create photo and video projects in a free virtual and fun environment.

Registration is open for teens ages 13-18. The program is running now through May 26 on Wednesdays at 4 p.m.

Other upcoming projects include stop motion animation, public service announcements, photo portraits and more. Click or tap here to learn more about the Arts Afterschool Media Club.

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