Alaska youth invited to PLAAY Day on Feb. 21; training Summit for youth coaches

January 21, 2019

Jumping, dancing and fun await 10,000 Alaskan children from Ketchikan to Kotzebue and all points in between on Feb. 21 – the statewide PLAAY Day, an event celebrating the importance of incorporating physical activity into our daily routines. At 10 a.m. on Feb. 21, elementary-aged students will be led in a series of synchronized exercises and adaptable body movements aimed to keep Alaska children active and healthy. Positive Leadership for Active Alaska Youth, or “PLAAY” Day, partners with ANTHC, University of Alaska Anchorage Health, Physical Education and Recreation department and GCI to present the event across Alaska. UAA students will host children in person at the Special Olympics Alaska Athlete Training Center in Anchorage. Simultaneously, children in rural communities across the state are invited to follow along via a streaming video link, utilizing technology provided by GCI. “Empowering our children with an opportunity for fun interactive play and a strong sense of community not only strengthens their sense of belonging, it also gives them another layer of protective factors they can draw from as they enter adolescence,” said Dr. Tina Woods, ANTHC Senior Director of Community Health Services. ANTHC has been a key sponsor of PLAAY Day since its inception. Our Healthy People and Prevention work focuses on preventative health services and programs to elevate the health status of Alaska Native people. PLAAY is an initiative of the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame, dedicated to celebrating the positive impact of sports in Alaska. Sports and physical activity are effective ways to address childhood obesity and its associated health risks. Adults play a key role in helping to encourage children to maintain a healthy weight and stay active. For more information on healthy activities for children, visit For more information on PLAAY Day, visit PLAAY Summit information for youth coaches and leaders Additionally, ANTHC is proud to sponsor and host the 2019 PLAAY Summit on the ANTHC campus. The educational conference aims to address the important areas of adolescent health with emphasis on the significance of physical activity by training medical professionals, administrators, teachers and other leaders of Alaska’s youth. The keynote speaker for this year’s conference is Dr. Michael Yogman, a professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Yogman’s recent article, The Power of Play: A Pediatric Role in Enhancing Development in Young Children, discusses the importance of unstructured play in healthy youth development. His teaching and research focuses on the father-child relationship, developmental interventions, nutrition and behavior. In addition to the wealth of knowledge Dr. Yogman offers to attendees, ANTHC’s director of wellness and prevention, Dana Diehl, will present Partnerships to Promote Wellness in Alaska Native Communities and Laura Norton-Cruz, program director for the Alaska Resilience Initiative Program, will present Getting Together: Healthy Relationships, Dating and Sexual Violence, Alaskan-Grown Solutions. The two-day summit will be held Feb. 22 from 12 to 5 p.m. and Feb. 23 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lunch and snacks will be provided. Professional development credit and nursing contact hours are available. More information and registration are available at

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