United Way Of Halifax County Holding Summer Mobile Day Camps to Fight Childhood Obesity

Halifax Co., VA-- It's a disturbing statistic from the CDC. In 2012 more than one third of children and adolescents in the country were overweight or obese.

But the United Way in Halifax County just kicked off a program this week trying to get those numbers down. It's called Youth in Motion. The organizers say kids tend to spend more time in front of the TV during the summer, which means less physical activity. This summer they're going all over the county bringing fun health and fitness camps right to the kids' doorsteps.

School is out and summer break is in session. Some kids go to a few summer camps, but for those who don't have that luxury, most of their summer is spent at home.

"This is to get the children out of the house from watching TV and videos," said Tina Younger, Program Director for Youth in Motion. The program was started by the United Way of Halifax County. It's dedicated to getting kids out of the house and moving.

"Being that sometimes it's hard for parent to get children to the sites, we decided to bring the sites to the children. So we got out and we have a mobile obstacle course for the kids, also healthy snacks and nutrition," Younger said.

The Youth in Motion team will travel around the county for the next five weeks, making stops at seven different locations. They set up mobile camps and get kids running, swinging and kicking.

"I think it's fun because you get kids doing sports and different stuff like that which they like, and it makes it fun for them," said Jawon Jackson, a Youth in Motion volunteer.

"It gives them an outlet so they can run and be healthy because we want them to grow and be healthy. Being unhealthy leads to a lot of serious illness such as diabetes," Younger said.

While Youth in Motion is focused on kids learning a healthy lifestyle during the summer, the organizers say it won't stop when school is back in session. They plan to hold after school programs.

"We are going to fight childhood obesity one child at a time throughout the year," Younger said.

Youth in Motion will run for two years. It's funded through the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth.

On Saturday they'll bring their mobile obstacle course to Constitution Square in South Boston for a fun fitness day for the whole family. That'll go on from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.

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