Physical Education majors from the University of Maine at Presque Isle are saying "Aloha!" as they welcome kids ages 5 to 11 to their Fit and Fun Day, taking place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26, at UMPI's Gentile Hall. Free registration begins at 9 a.m., with tropical-themed games, giveaways and activities to follow.
Fit and Fun Day is designed to promote physical activity and healthy lifestyles for local children. This is the 18th semi-annual Fit and Fun Day.
"If you have youngsters aged 5 to 11, we encourage you to bring them out!" said Jordan Duffy, one of the student organizers for the event. "This is an event that the UMPI students have been putting on for numerous years and is always a hit with kids around the Aroostook County region. This is a great social opportunity for not only your children but also for you as we will open up the walking track to get everyone in motion!"
Although the majority of the Physical Education majors at UMPI participate in Fit and Fun Day, it is traditionally hosted by Dr. Chris Standefer's class PHE 485: Organization and Administration of Physical Education as a service-learning project. These students are the backbone behind the event, which serves as a great way for them to get the community active while at the same time practicing their teaching skills.
"Personally, I benefit from Fit and Fun Day because it is a great opportunity for me to gain experience working with kids and to practice my teaching skills," said former OAPE student Josh MacKinnon, who is currently in his senior year at UMPI and is quite familiar with past events. "Fit and Fun Day has been a success in the past; we have had good numbers in recent years and the kids have a lot fun."
Team games, tag, and cup stacking with a Hawaiian twist are just a few of the activities that are on the agenda for the day. If sun is in the forecast, organizers plan to divide the kids into groups and conduct some of the day's activities outside.
As in past years, the pool and rock wall will be open from Noon to 1 p.m. (supervision provided), so those interested in using the facilities should plan to bring swim attire and a towel. Parents need to sign a release form in order for their children to use the swimming pool and rock wall. Forms will be provided during registration.
Aspiring Athletic Trainers will be on hand for "Boo Boo Patrol" as well to make sure everyone is both safe and well hydrated throughout the activities.
"This day is always a blast so if you have children in the K-6 age groups, then we would absolutely love to have you," Duffy said. "Remember that it's a Hawaiian-themed event so feel free to dress for the event and don't forget your smiles!"