Nickelodeon tells kids to go out and play for anniversary

LONDON - Children's television station Nickelodeon, home of shows including 'Spongebob Squarepants', is hosting a 'worldwide day of play' this autumn, which involves the blacking out of programming to encourage children to go outside to play.

The station has announced that on October 2 it will go dark for three hours from noon in an attempt to promote healthy lifestyles and the importance of play.

When programming resumes later in the day, the station will stage a series of events continuing the healthy lifestyle theme, including video updates from locally organised "worldwide day of play" events, a live event in the evening and online healthy living messages. The event is part of Nickelodeon's 25th anniversary celebrations this year.

Events being televised are taking place in India, the Philippines, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia and the US.

Cyma Zarghami, Nickelodeon Television president, said: "Pre-empting programming on a Saturday is one part of our overall commitment to empower kids to get up, get moving and achieve a healthy life balance.

"These on-air events and the 'worldwide day of play' itself are the next steps in our goal to help kids get the resources needed to live and learn about active, positive lifestyles."

Marva Smalls, Nickelodeon public affairs executive vice-president, added: "As part of our efforts to confront the obesity issue and to make a difference in kids' lives, the messages we're sending are designed to empower kids with information they can use to make better, healthier choices in their lives."

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