Farmers market provides food and play

Jul. 23, 2014 @ 01:58 PM

Jarae Garcia, 6, and Harold Garcia, 4, ran in the grass at the Sawmills Farmers Market under a sky of thick, rolling clouds. They were celebrating Physical Activity Day at Kids’s Corner, a special tent for children at the farmers market, hosted by the Caldwell County Health Department.

Jarae wore a white dress speckled in pink flowers, her hair in a braid. She expertly jumped rope then tried to teach her brother Harold by picking him up to place him on the other side of the rope. However, no matter how Jarae tried to show Harold the ropes, he could not figure out the rhythm.

Ten-year-old Sofia Garcia, their older sister, looked out with a gleam of motherly protection in her eyes. As the oldest, she took great pride in her responsibility for watching over the other two while their mother shopped at the farmers market. She had brought her siblings to the Kid’s Corner to play with the different athletic toys and pick out a free jump rope.

“The Kid’s Corner is my favorite,” Sofia said. “There’s lots of games, and you can win lots of prizes. And, it’s lots of fun for my brother and sister, too.”

Jarae said her favorite colors were pink and purple. Already, she had the pink flowers on her dress, so she picked out a purple jump rope to take home.

Then, Harold grabbed a bright orange bat and a plastic ball. Every time he swung the bat, he hopped just before as he released the ball in his other hand. Try as he might, he never quite hit the ball.

Anna Martin, health education supervisor for Caldwell County Health Department, said that Physical Activity Day is important because it can start children on a lifelong habit of living healthy.

“It educates them on the importance of physical activity and . . . being healthy, just doing things outside of the house,” Martin said.