Students Inspire Kids to Get Moving

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WAUKEE, Iowa -- Experts say kids should spend at least an hour a day doing some sort of physical activity. High school students are helping the younger set find new ways to meet that goal.

With activities like football, soccer and dance, Waukee High School student-athletes know the importance of staying active.

"It's easier to learn those healthy habits at a younger age and develop them throughout your adulthood than to start when you're older," senior Jenna Pearce said. "And, it prevents a lot of different healthy issues."

That's why Pearce and fellow senior Rachel Oliver are working to get kids moving outside. The students are with the Waukee CAPS Program.

"Waukee CAPS stands for Center for Advanced Professional Studies, and it's where we collaborate with businesses and work on projects," Oliver said.

They partnered with the Waukee Family YMCA and UnityPoint Health Des Moines to revamp the nationwide Healthy Kids Day in the metro.

"They reached out to us, and we thought this would be a good opportunity to get them involved and get other students involved as well," said Waukee Family YMCA Sports Program Director Laura Briggs.

Healthy Kids Day started at the Waukee Family YMCA several years ago, but this is the first year it will be held outside.

"We're doing a revamp and bringing it to Waukee Stadium so kids can be outside enjoying the spring weather and get active," Briggs said.

Healthy Kids Day is Saturday, May 2 from 2-5 p.m. at Waukee Stadium. It's free for everyone and designed for kids in Kindergarten through fifth grade. About 20 Waukee student-athletes will lead kids in activities. They'll teach sports skills the first hour. The second hour will focus on group activities like Yoga and Zumba. Then, they'll take to the track with an hour of relay races.

"It's a really cool opportunity for the younger kids to see the older, the seniors and stuff, just because they're role models, and they look up to student athletes here in Waukee," Oliver said.

Volunteers are still needed. You can sign up on the Waukee Family YMCA's Facebook page. Click here for more details.

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