Deadline this week for fitness program

If kids want to try to earn free tickets to an Everett AquaSox baseball game for being active three times a week for four weeks this summer, the signup deadline is Thursday.

The program is free and open to any child in Snohomish County, but targets children who aren’t regularly active.

“Kids get to decide how they want to get moving – hula hooping, taking the dog for a walk, dancing, whatever works for them,” said Cheri Russum, spokeswoman for Providence Everett Medical Center, one of five area organizations sponsoring the program.

“It’s an opportunity to shut off the electronics and enjoy the fresh air,” she said.

The Get Movin’ program is similar to a summer reading program, providing incentives to children for being active for at least 20 minutes three times a week.

Kids who meet the challenge are given passes to an activity: the Forest Park swim center, ice skating at the Everett Events Center or climbing at Cascade Crags in Everett.

If they’re active for four weeks, they qualify for a ticket to the Aug. 26 Aquasox game.

Since the program ends July 30, kids must sign up this week to qualify for passes to the baseball game.

Parents can sign up their kids as late as July 16 to qualify for the swimming, skating and climbing passes.

Get Movin’ was organized by four area health care organizations, and The Herald, to improve children’s health and battle obesity: Providence Everett Medical Center, Medalia Medical Group, The Everett Clinic and Providence General Foundation.

Parents signed up 313 kids at a recent kickoff event at Everett Mall. Another 55 children registered last week at Providence Everett Family Resource Center.

The kickoff also included a health fair to provide blood pressure and weight and height checks. Of 208 children screened, about a quarter were overweight, Russum said. Fifteen others were at risk of being overweight. One child had high blood pressure. Thirty-six children had blood tests to check their blood sugar levels. High blood sugar can lead to diabetes.

Exercise and good nutrition can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes, increasingly diagnosed among children, most of whom are overweight.

Reporter Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or salyer@heraldnet.com.

How to sign up

Parents can sign up their kids for the Get Movin’ summer activity program from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Providence Everett Family Resource Center, 900 Pacific Ave. in Everett. Call 425-261-4567.

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