July 21, 2015

It continues to be a big, busy summer of fun, discovery and learning for more than 24,000 kids who are taking part in YMCA Summer Camp, Summer Learning and Teen Leadership programs.

REaders theater(web)By blending learning with fun — along with a curriculum focused on values, reading, wellness and strengthening families  YMCA campers are on track to enjoy 8 million minutes of reading time this summer.

Sound like homework? Not at the Y, where hands-on learning activities like Reader’s Theater, arts, skits and games encourage kids to interact with books – and each other – in fun new ways.

In fact, most kids don’t even realize their learning. They’re just having a great time boosting brain power, while exploring new talents, skills and interests – things like rocketry, robotics, photography, sports, music and more.

rocket webJust ask any of the 300 YMCA middle school campers who took part in the Y’s third annual rocketry competition at Glenridge Middle School. Working with Y mentors, staff and science teachers, the kids worked in teams to build, test and launch model rockets – all the while learning about science, technology, engineering and math.

Culinary web

Another group of Y campers – and aspiring chefs – had a chance to present their best culinary creations to a panel of local food judges who offered professional advice, encouragement and mentoring.

McCoy girl web Over at McCoy Elementary, more than 120 at-risk children are getting much-needed academic support through the YMCA’s Summer Scholars Learning Program.

Modeled on a successful pilot the Y launched two years ago with Y-USA and BELL, the program is proven to help kids gain half a year of learning in just five weeks.

Similar YMCA intensive learning programs are  taking place at 10 middle school locations, where many of the kids are at highest risk for school failure.

blue ridge webIn nurturing the next generation of Y leaders, our organization proudly sent 80 promising teens to the YMCA Christian Values Conference at the Blue Ridge Assembly Hall in North Carolina.

It was a great week of faith, friendship and learning for the teens, who share in the Y’s commitment to bring on a better world.

Summer may be winding down, but learning goes on year-round at the Y. Click here to learn more about YMCA out-of-school-time learning programs for kids of all ages.