Pulaski County hits the mark with a community program to get kids up and moving; a great model for other communities to follow

Communities wondering what they could start that is fun, and will also improve the health of local families, might consider hosting something like “The Longest Day of Play,” which Pulaski County has done for the last five years.

The Longest Day of Play at SomerSplash Waterpark
(Photo by Katie Pratt, UK Agricultural Communications)

The Longest Day of Play is a day, typically around the longest day of the year, on which SomerSplash Waterpark invites families from across the region for a day of physical activity and healthy living, Katie Pratt reports for the University of Kentucky. For those under 18, the event includes free admission, a healthy lunch, a book to read for the summer and sunscreen.

“A lot of times the people who are here today wouldn’t otherwise get to come, so it’s an opportunity for us to give back to the community,” Stephen Sims, manager of the waterpark, told Pratt. “It’s a way to get kids out and let them be active and not just simply stay at the house all summer long.”

The event is hosted by Pulaski County schools, UK’s Cooperative Extension Service, the Lake Cumberland Health District Department, Eastern Kentucky Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment (PRIDE), and the city of Somerset.

“We have a Working on Wellness group in the community, and we wanted an event to give children nutrition, physical activity and to help our new waterpark grow,” Edith Lovett, Pulaski County family and consumer sciences extension agent, told Pratt.

While Pulaski County has an awesome venue for the event, most communities have something special to offer — parks, swimming pools, bike trails, school running tracks — that could bring families together for a day of physical activity, fun and nutritious food.

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