A fresh breath of air for kids from NYC (with photos)

By Nicky Hickling

July 1, 2014 Updated Jul 1, 2014 at 6:56 PM EDT

Johnson City, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A group of New York City children arrived in the Southern Tier to experience life outside of the Big Apple.

The kids arrived at the Oakdale Mall Tuesday afternoon.

Volunteer families across the region are hosting children from ages six to 18 for up to two weeks.

The program is run by a nonprofit organization called Fresh Air Fund. Four-thousand urban children leave the city each summer.

"Basically coming from the concrete jungle, pollution, many of them come from at-risk families and they are coming here they can join a family for one or two weeks who has a great family structure. They can introduce them to the simple joys of our community,” said Megan Ferree, Fresh Air Fund Chairperson.

The fresh air program is over a century old. Nearly two million New York City children have participated to date.