Happy 2022, everyone!
It feels a little funny to be talking about summer when we're experiencing our first real cold days of winter, but here we are. I remember learning to swim--and more important, passing my 50s--at the Perry Public Pool. The freedom and confidence that gave me is what I want for every child in our community. Last year, we provided 95 FREE Safety Around Water lessons, and we will continue that initiative next summer because we know that teaching children how to swim and be safe in and around water is one of the most important life skills a child can have.
More summer news: Power Scholars Academy is BACK! Studies show that many students experience anywhere from one to three months of learning loss in one summer. You may have heard it called the "summer slide." However, kids who attended the YMCA Power Scholars Academy last summer avoided the slide, and as a result, children in Perry, Oklahoma started the school year more prepared and excited about learning. In fact, 100% of participants in our Power Scholars Academy program told us they were excited to come to the program every day. Our team, which consisted of certified teachers, tutors, and counselors, led scholars in grades K-5 through academic exercises, social and emotional skill development, and community engagement opportunities. One of our favorite outcomes was increased family engagement, which is linked to higher scholar achievement: 100% of our students' families were "highly satisfied" and found the program welcoming and open, leading to their feeling valued as partners in their child's learning.
Thank you to our sponsors and runners who came out Thanksgiving morning for our first in-person Turkey Trot. This event supports the Tim Hight Food Program, which provides healthy meals and snacks to children 0-18 years old. We know that having consistent access to healthy meals is critical for children in our community and that food-insecure children are more likely to struggle in school. Finding a sustainable solution to hunger is part of our strategic plan and you can help us do that by joining us at the 2022 Turkey Trot.
We are empowered by your support and enthusiasm for our focus on Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility for all our members and the greater Noble County community.
Here's to a great 2022!
CEO, Noble County Family YMCA