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Get Outdoors York! program celebrates 10 years promoting physical activity, reading during summer

Friday, June 02, 2017

For the 10th consecutive year, children and families across York County will kick off the summer season this weekend with the Get Outdoors (GO) York! program.

The GO York! program is an annual partnership between WellSpan Health and York County Libraries. Promoting reading and physical activity for children during the summer, the GO York! initiative officially kicks off this Saturday, June 3 and will run through Aug. 20.

“We are excited to bring this program to York County families for a 10th year,” said Kevin Alvarnaz, director of community health and wellness, WellSpan Health. “Year after year, we are proud to work with our community partners to provide a unique avenue for families to get outdoors, be active and have fun. It’s a welcome tradition for us, and we are thrilled that it has been embraced by the community as well.”

Each year the free program encourages children and parents to get outdoors and be physically active by engaging in an adaptation of letterboxing, a hobby in which participants must follow written clues to locate hidden items. This year’s theme is “GO and Build a Better World!”

Through the GO York! program, 30 wooden posts with an attached etched rubbing plate are hidden in various parks and along trails in York County. Participants use a crayon or colored pencil to rub the picture on the etched plate onto the corresponding page within their activity book. Participants are also encouraged to share photos of their GO hunts, and offer tips, via the program’s Facebook page.

All children who locate and rub three unique etchings on the rubbing sheet that accompanies their Blueprint receive a reward for participating in the program.  There are additional grand prizes awarded based on the number of landmarks located. 

Last year, York County Libraries distributed more than 10,900 rubbing sheets.

“There is this wonderful learning synergy that happens somewhere between reading about nature and the discovery of wildlife along a trail,” said Deb Sullivan, community relations director, York County Libraries. “By participating in the program, kids stay school-ready by keeping their minds and bodies fit over the summer months. And we hear that the parents love the program, too, because of the opportunities to create treasured summer memories with their children.”

Since launching the Get Outdoors program in York County 10 years ago, WellSpan has worked with other libraries from throughout its service area to expand the program in Lancaster and Lebanon counties. This year, WellSpan has partnered with Adams County Library to launch the Get Outdoors (GO) Adams! program in that county.

The GO program in all four counties is funded through WellSpan Health’s Community Partnership Grant Program. These grants are awarded to nonprofit organizations that improve the health of the communities and people WellSpan serves. Last year, WellSpan awarded more than $230,000 in grants to local community organizations. 

For more information about the GO York! program, visit www.GoYork.org. For more information on WellSpan’s Community Partnership Grants, visit www.WellSpan.org

About WellSpan Health
WellSpan Health is an integrated health system that serves the communities of central Pennsylvania and northern Maryland. The organization is comprised of a multispecialty medical group of more than 1,200 physicians and advanced practice clinicians, a home care organization, six respected hospitals, more than 15,000 employees, and more than 130 patient care locations. WellSpan is a charitable, mission-driven organization, committed to exceptional care for all, lifelong wellness and healthy communities.

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