Families learn through play

DeKALB – On Nov. 18, the Kishwaukee Family YMCA, DeKalb School District, Kishwaukee Community Hospital and Northern Illinois University teamed up to offer a Family Night for families of Jefferson, Tyler and Cortland elementary schools. Family Nights at the Y give families a time and a place to come together to have a good time, participate in a variety of fun activities, share, communicate and strengthen their relationships and meet other families.

The evening was divided into four stations. The 70 families who attended moved from station to station and participated in activities that encouraged physical activity and taught nutrition.

Community Health Liaison Lisa Cumings from Kishwaukee Community Hospital had parents and children take part in activities from the Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH) program. CATCH is designed to get kids moving with fun activities and to encourage them to make better food choices. NIU students and CATCH interns gave a nutrition presentation, while YMCA staff engaged families with board games, Dance Dance Revolution, My Plate crafts, a rock climbing wall, basketball, volleyball, soccer and a bounce house donated by Jumpy Jumpers.

“YMCA Family Night is a terrific opportunity for the YMCA, Kishwaukee Community Hospital and DeKalb Dist. 428 to collaborate on such important issues: nutrition and fitness. Our families had fun playing together and learning at the same time,” Jefferson Elementary School Principal Cristy Meyer said.

Transportation was provided through a We Can Grant from the DeKalb County Health Department.

“Through partnerships like this, we can have the greatest impact on our community. Family Night is a great way for us to support families on their journey to health and well-being, by providing a fun and educational environment,” said Lesley Feyerherm, youth development director for the Kishwaukee YMCA.

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