TACOMA, Wash. - Many of Washington State's children will have no excuse
to be couch potatoes today as free fun awaits them. Aimed at getting
youngsters more active, the first annual Community Health Carnival in
Tacoma will promote healthier family choices at play time and at snack
Markus Maceo, director of educational programs for the Motivating
Our Children to Honor Academics (MOCHA) afterschool mentoring
program, says Tacoma-area kids of all ages will be challenged to put
down the TV remote for a couple of hours and put on a pair of sneakers.
"Relay races, obstacle courses, introductory sessions on martial arts -
we'll have a whole host of energized physical activities. Sit up, push
up contests - you name it, we'll have it."
Kids will need to recharge after all that activity, so Maceo says
healthy snacks will be on hand.
"Rice cake and peanut butter with apples on top; opposed to a hamburger.
We'll be raising awareness to have families start making smarter
According to Maceo, the event will also feature information about
inexpensive ways kids can keep up a level of at least one hour a day of
"Low-cost services, for example like AAU Basketball, which is sanctioned
basketball for youth, getting involved in little league football,
baseball - just to get kids excited about being physical and moving away
from TVs and video games."
The Community Health Carnival starts at 4:00 p.m. at the People's Center
on MLK Way in Tacoma. The event is presented by the Hilltop Healthy
Kids & Families Partnership and School's Out Washington,
which provided a grant to raise awareness about how after-school
programs can support healthy behaviors.