Every April, the YMCA celebrates “Healthy Kids Day,” our national initiative to improve the health and well-being of kids. April is also National Kite Month, when the Berks County Parks and Recreation Department hosts “Go Fly a Kite! Day.” The YMCA of Reading & Berks County and the County of Berks have joined forces to create one fantastic event combining healthy activities and information for kids and their families with kite-flying fun! This free family event is set for Saturday, April 23, from 12 to 6 p.m. at the Youth Recreation Facility, 1098 County Road, Bern Township, with a rain date of Sunday, April 24.

“The blending of the YMCA Healthy Kids Day and the Berks Parks and Recreation’s Go Fly A Kite Day will bring together kids and their families from all over Berks County for a fun-filled free day of activities aimed to get kids moving, think healthy and be inspired,” said Berks County Commissioner and YMCA Healthy Kids Day Champion Kevin Barnhardt.

This free, fun and active event will have something for everyone in your family. Your kids can come fly a kite, plant a garden, taste test some food, play soccer, meet local law enforcement and listen to a presentation on the main stage. Together, our kids will “Get Active & Take Flight!” For more information on the local initiative, visit www.ymca-berkscounty.org/healthy-kids-day.

“As a nonprofit organization committed to youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, through the YMCA Healthy Kids Day, we’re addressing critical gaps in health and education,” said Kim Johnson, President and CEO of the YMCA of Reading & Berks County.

All ages and levels of kite-flying enthusiasts will display their colorful creations in the air and on the ground as part of the festival. Bring a homemade kite, newspaper kite or a store-bought kite to fly in the Open-Fly Zones. Visit www.countyofberks.com/parks for some homemade kite templates. Children can make a kite in our Sled-Kite Workshop, or on soccer field #1, and later fly them in one of the contests starting at 3 p.m. On soccer field #3, professional kiters will be showing off their kite creations and flying skills throughout the day, and in the homemade kite contests starting at 4:30 p.m.

Attendees may bring their own kites, create a sled kite or purchase one from our kite vendor located near the Professional Kiters field. If your kite needs some help, stop by the “Kite Hospital” on the main field where our team of kite doctors can help get that kite back in the air! Due to the close proximity of the Reading Regional Airport, all kite flying is restricted to 350 feet from the ground.

The following are some things to know prior to attending:

Don’t forget to bring along your pennies to donate to the Million Penny Challenge presented by Wells Fargo.

Children should bring their bikes and helmets for our checkpoint and safety course by BAMBA and the Reading Bike Hub.

Bring a canned food donation for our Local Food Bank.

Bring a store-bought kite, or “homemade” kite, or kids can make one in the Sled Kite Workshop tents.

Bring a picnic, and/or there is food available for purchase.

Visit our websites and social media pages for details on the event. Share the excitement with us on social media through our link #readingberksYhkd.

This year’s sponsors include: Reading Health System, Big Vision Foundation, The YMCA of Reading & Berks County, Berks County Parks and Recreation Department, Berks County Dental Society, U.P.M.C. Health Plan and Wells Fargo – the Million Penny Challenge.

This event is presented by the YMCA of Reading & Berks County and the Berks County Parks and Recreation Department. The Youth Recreation Facility is located at 1098 County Road in Bern Township across from the Berks County Career and Technology Center West, (also known as the Big Vision Sports Complex). For more information or directions, contact the YMCA of Reading & Berks County at 610-378-4778, www.ymca-berkscounty.org or the Berks County Parks and Recreation Department at 610-374-2944 ext. 2611, www.countyofberks.com/parks.

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