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Billy Ray Cyrus and Daughter Miley Host National Celebration

Kids Wish Parents Would Work Less, Spend More Outdoor Time with Them

By (BI) Susanna Daniel

ATLANTA -- Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) this week announced the launch of "Boys and Girls Clubs Day for Kids," a major new family event on our nation's calendar.

Boys and Girls Clubs Day for Kids (BGC Day for Kids) will be an annual event highlighting the value of meaningful time between caring adults and children.

BGC Day for Kids will be celebrated on Saturday, Sept. 16 -- with millions of adults and kids participating in some 2,000 events at Boys and Girls Clubs and other locations nationwide.

Events, celebrity appearances and special promotions will highlight BGC Day for Kids.

National spokespersons for the day, platinum-selling recording artist and actor Billy Ray Cyrus and his daughter Miley Cyrus, both of Disney Channel's hit series "Hannah Montana," will kick off the day in Los Angeles.

"Miley and I have a great relationship," said Cyrus. "I think it's important as parents and neighbors that we spend quality time with children and to encourage others in our communities to do the same."

Added Miley: "My dad and I talk all the time about the important stuff in my life. He and my mom know how much I appreciate them and our relationship is good because we spend time together. I am happy to be a part of this day to help other kids feel the same way."

Unlike most other industrialized nations, the U.S. is one of the few nations that does not have an official day set aside to honor its young people. In a country ranked first in wealth and productivity, we do not have a day in which we recognize our most precious resource.

Americans recognize the link between spending meaningful time with their kids and the tough issues facing young people, but say they don't have the time, skills or resources to do as much for their children as they feel they should.

BGCA is spearheading a national effort to establish Boys and Girls Clubs Day for Kids as an "official day" on the National Calendar. But while September 16 is the official day, created to bring attention to the messages of Boys and Girls Clubs Day for Kids, in reality every day should be a day for kids.

To assist parents, practitioners and other caring adults, BGCA has created engaging educational resources to help them encourage and develop positive relationships with kids.

BGC Day for Kids Survey
A survey conducted this summer of more than 1,500 Boys and Girls Club members from across the nation identified how young people define meaningful time.

--The results revealed that most young people (78 percent) feel they do spend enough meaningful time with their parents.

--BUT ... The young people surveyed (39 percent) said they want their parents to work less and spend more outdoor time with them (43 percent).

--Young people (68 percent) say their parents or guardians are the most important role models in their lives and that the most important thing they learn from them are positive values (37 percent).

--While most (79 percent) say their parents have talked with them about Internet safety, most parents never or very rarely (67 percent) surf the Internet with their children or ask them who they are talking to online (55 percent).

--Most young people are participating in physical activities and games with their parents several times a week (55.1 percent) and eating home-cooked dinners together regularly (77 percent).

More than 2,000 Day for Kids events are planned nationwide (all events open to the public) including:

--Los Angeles -- Activities at the Santa Monica Pier featuring an appearance by Billy Ray and Miley Cyrus, a Day for Kids parade and other activities at the Pacific Park Amusement Park.

--Dallas -- More than 3,000 youth will enjoy a day at the Bahama Beach Waterpark, including games, face painting, free school supplies and appearances by Dallas Mavericks players.

--NYC -- A street festival in the Bronx, including song and dance, a back-to-school fashion show, the NY Mets mascot, a health fair and equipment from the NY Police and Fire Depts.

--Tampa Bay -- A day at the ballpark with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays

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