If you listen very carefully, I think you can actually hear a YMCA building sigh when summer ends and kids go back to school. YMCAs are always active places, but especially during the summer months: between camps, youth sports, swim lessons, pickup basketball, and just hanging out--a lot happens at a Y and that has certainly been the case at the Noble County Family YMCA this summer! I want to thank all our summer staff for really bringing their A-game. They were especially adept at finding new ways to best serve our kids and families when obstacles appeared in our path. Now that school has started and things have momentarily slowed down, I have time to reflect on the impactful work we did and how proud I am of this Y.
I can't help but smile when I look at both photos in this email. Up top, sisters Melanie McGuire from Ditch Witch and Noble County Family YMCA Board Chair Shelbi Duke are with me to celebrate a big grant, which helped us serve more than 3,500 meals to area kids this summer through the Tim Hight Food Program.
Although Tim has been gone almost a year, we continue to expand the program, providing free access to healthy meals and snacks when school is out for the summer and for year-round afterschool programs. We were recognized for the program when employees of Charles Machine Works a Toro Company voted for our Y to receive an Advancing Equitable Communities Grant, and we're so grateful Melanie nominated us--read about it here!
We are especially proud of a new program we rolled out this summer: YMCA Power Scholars™, a five-week summer program designed to tackle learning loss. The picture to the right is Rev. Joshua Bell and yours truly, loving every minute of this program!
The partnership with our Y, the Perry First Christian Church (where Rev. Bell is Senior Minister and Unofficial Bus Driver) and the national nonprofit BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life) enabled 30 Perry-area students to receive academic support from certified teachers, take part in enrichment activities such as martial arts, Safety Around Water classes (SAW), bucket drumming, character development opportunities, social-emotional learning, and nutritious meals. Read more here!
In July, we put on a Community Wellness Fair where partners provided free physicals, eye exams, COVID vaccines, and blood pressure checks.
Our YMCA summer day camp ended on an innovative note when we introduced campers to E-Sports as part of a pilot we plan to introduce this fall. Through gaming, campers were taught the value of sportsmanship, teamwork, strategic thinking and self-confidence. Read more about E-Sports and the impact that it has on our youth.
This is just a snapshot of our summer at the Y and now that it is quieter during the day and I have more interrupted time...I miss the laughter, the shrieks, the camp chants. One 5-year-old camper said it best when asked if she liked OU or OSU: she paused and then replied, "I like the Y." Me too.
Thank you for your support of the Y, where we are for Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility!