WASHINGTON, Sept. 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The United States Senate today passed a resolution officially designating Saturday, Sept. 24, as the Worldwide Day of Play. The resolution (H.Res 410) was introduced by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH). Additionally, the U.S. House of Representatives also introduced Sept. 24 as the Worldwide Day of Play in a resolution sponsored by Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH) and co-sponsored by Congressman Pat Tiberi (R-OH) and Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI). These resolutions are an acknowledgement of Nickelodeon's efforts to underscore the importance of health and wellness to the nation's –and the world's – kids and families. On Saturday, Nick is bringing its 8th annual Worldwide Day of Play event to the Ellipse, in Washington, D.C., for its biggest celebration of active play ever.
"We are honored that the U.S. Congress has embraced and recognized this cause to encourage kids to have healthy and active lifestyles, and we are grateful for the support of Senators Gillibrand and Ayotte, and Congresswoman Fudge," said Cyma Zarghami, President, Nickelodeon Networks. "This is an issue that directly impacts our audience, and we are proud to have so many partner organizations spreading this important message with us."
"The obesity crisis in New York and throughout the country puts our children at serious risk of chronic illnesses, and holds them back from a bright future," said Senator Gillibrand. "This resolution recognizes the urgent need to teach our children to take on healthy, active lifestyles. We must do everything we can to ensure that every child has an opportunity to achieve their full potential."
"As parents, we must encourage children to make healthy choices by engaging in daily physical activity and developing responsible eating habits," said Senator Ayote. "The 'Day of Play' raises awareness about the need for children and families to participate in fun activities that are good for the mind and body."
"Every child in the U.S. should have the opportunity to live a healthy life. I'm happy to sponsor legislation recognizing World Wide Day of Play and acknowledging the importance of physical activity in good health," said Congresswoman Fudge. "I applaud Nickelodeon and Viacom for their effort in encouraging kids to get up and get active."
This Saturday, Nickelodeon will bring for the first time its flagship Worldwide Day of Play (WWDOP) event to Washington, D.C., for the biggest celebration of active play in the eight-year history of the initiative. More than fifty partner organizations, "Let's Move" and the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition will join with Nickelodeon to host an entire day of physical activities and games for kids and their families to encourage active and healthy lifestyles. Additionally, as it has for the past seven years to commemorate WWDOP, Nickelodeon's networks and websites will go dark from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. (ET/PT) as a signal to kids and families to get up and get active. In D.C., activities will begin at 10 a.m.
Nickelodeon and its WWDOP partner organizations will set up on the Ellipse, located in the National Park Service unit of President's Park just south of the White House. Starting at 10:00 a.m. (ET) and going through the day, they will host a wide variety of activities, including baseball, soccer, dance, lacrosse, cheerleading, martial arts and entertainment, while offering audiences around the country live updates from D.C. In addition to supporting WWDOP on Sept. 24, the National Park Service will also celebrate National Public Lands Day on the Ellipse and at all 394 other national parks across the country by offering free admission that day.
Nickelodeon's TV networks and websites will go off-air and offline from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. (all times ET/PT) as a signal to kids and families nationwide to get up and get active. Before going off the air at noon, the network's live-action stars will give viewers special on-the-scene reports from the WWDOP event, highlighting the activities and sharing tips on maintaining healthy and active lifestyles. Nick will resume programming at 3 p.m. with live updates from the Worldwide Day of Play event in Washington. At 7:30 p.m., the network will kick off an evening of primetime premieres with an action-packed half-hour special, Worldwide Day of Play: Washington, D.C., featuring Nick's hit live-action stars, highlights from the day's activities and a special performance by Big Time Rush.
In addition to WWDOP anchored this year in Washington, D.C., there are more than 5,000 confirmed local WWDOP events that will take place across the U.S. and also in countries throughout the year including Germany, France, India, Ireland, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Scotland, Sweden and Tanzania.
WWDOP began in 2004 as a part of Nickelodeon's The Big Help initiative, a kid-led movement for positive change that focuses on four key issues: the environment, education, health and wellness, and community service. Through The Big Help health and wellness component, kids are encouraged to be more active for healthier lifestyles.
Information about the Worldwide Day of Play event in Washington, D.C. will be available online at www.worldwidedayofplay.com beginning Sept. 15. The site will feature specifics about the location and schedules, along with videos and photos direct from the event posted throughout the day, as well as information on partner events and resources for planning your own day of play. A special video series entitled "I Play Because" will also be showcased with stars from Nickelodeon's top-rated series explaining why they like to play. Additionally, there will be a mobile version of the WWDOP site at m.nick.com. For real time updates on WWDOP activities, follow @NickDayofPlay.
For more information about Nickelodeon's 8th annual Worldwide Day of Play, visit http://www.nickpress-worldwidedayofplay.com.
Nickelodeon, now in its 32nd year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books and feature films. Nickelodeon's U.S. television network is seen in more than 100 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for 16 consecutive years. For more information or artwork, visit http://www.nickpress.com. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B).