LIVINGSTON, NJ — The Healthy Community Healthy Youth Initiative (HCHY), a community organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of the children of Livingston, has announced its lineup for the 22nd annual Youth Appreciation Week (YAW).

The weeklong event, which celebrates the accomplishments and achievements of the youth of Livingston, will take place between May 15 and May 21.

The theme of this year’s event is “Livingston Kids Connect,” which focuses on children in the community connecting every day to all that surrounds them in their town.

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Featuring a variety of events for kids of all ages, Youth Appreciation Week will begin with a kick-off at the high school’s Livingston Television (LTV) studios. Events throughout the week include:

Building Blocks Workshops on May 16 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Livingston Senior and Community Center;

Adopt a Grandparent on May 17 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Inglemoor Rehabilitation Center, where children and adults are invited to enjoy crafts, snacks and stories with the center’s residents; 

Little People Concert with Miss Dylan on May 19 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Senior and Community Center;

Parents Night Out on May 19 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Senior and Community Center, where parents are invited to drop their K-7th graders while they enjoy a night out;

Basketball Tournaments on the outdoor courts by Livingston High School on May 16 for girls and on May 18 for boys, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. both nights, with the championship May 20 at 3 p.m.;

Town Campout on May 20 at the Oval from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., featuring scout group games for kids, a campfire, refreshments and more, including a Robotics Expo, Open Mic Night and the annual Movie Under the Stars after dark, featuring Disney’s “Moana.”

A petting zoo, pony rides, food, games, inflatables, and more will also be featured on Saturday at the Oval, and the week will conclude with the Diversity Festival at the YMCA.

In addition to its annual Diversity Festival on the lawn, the West Essex YMCA will also present a free new program for youth and teens entitled the “EMPOWER Program” on Thursday, followed by a Teen Night on Friday. 

YAW events are sponsored by local businesses and organizations, including Regal Bank, ShopRite of Livingston, Boy Scouts & Cub Scouts, and the West Essex YMCA. Sponsorships are still available.

“We are so excited to celebrate Livingston’s youth with all of these incredible events and sponsors,” said Alan Karpas, President of HCHY. “The support of our local community is a perfect example for our children to see, as they are involved in so much from helping seniors to keeping our town green. This is a fun way for us to show them how much we appreciate and stand behind all their efforts throughout the year.”

In addition to YAW, the HCHY supports various community initiatives including the Robotics Club; Friends of the Livingston Animal Shelter, Bike Livingston and The Children’s Theater of Livingston.

For more information about the week’s events or to learn more about sponsorship opportunities, visit livingstonnj.org/livingstonYAW.

Some of these events require or request pre-registration. Sign up online through Community Pass.

Prior to YAW next week, Livingston’s youth is also encouraged to visit the Kiwanis Karnival, located on W. Northfield Road. The annual carnival opened on Tuesday and will remain open until Saturday, May 13.