ORLANDO, FL – The YMCA of Central Florida today announced that Dr. Kinyata McGee-Swope, a Chicago-based child development and educational expert, has been named Executive Director of the YMCA’s Early Childhood Development Centers at Walt Disney World Resort, Sherberth location.
In this role, McGee-Swope will oversee the curriculum, learning programs and operations of the YMCA Sherberth Family Center. This facility, along with the YMCA Lake Buena Vista Family Center, provides quality early learning, wellness and family-strengthening programs to more 750 Disney cast member families per day.
“For more than 10 years, the YMCA of Central Florida has partnered with Walt Disney World Resort to provide one of the most innovative, holistic child and family development programs in the nation,” said McGee-Swope. “I’m proud to be a part of this tradition and excited to work with great partners like Disney and Heart of Florida United Way to take it to the next level.”
Open 365 days per year, with extended hours to serve the needs of Disney cast member families, the Y’s Early Learning Centers at Walt Disney World Resort focus on the social, cognitive and emotional needs of children from birth to 5, with additional programs for children through age 12. Through a research-based curriculum, children also develop literacy and reading skills to prepare them for success in kindergarten and beyond.
Through a Family Health Initiative funded through Heart of Florida United Way, the YMCA Centers at Walt Disney World also provide an onsite nurse, pediatric wellness checks, nutritional education, parenting workshops, fitness activities and other ways for families to connect, get healthy and grow stronger.
“At the Y, we know that today’s families need all the help we can provide,” said Shannon Matthews, YMCA Vice President of Youth Development and Education. “Dr. McGee-Swope is a welcome addition to our Y Educational Team. Her background, leadership and expertise give us even greater depth in helping children and families thrive.”
Prior to joining the YMCA of Central Florida, McGee-Swope served as Director of Youth Development at McGaw YMCA in Evanston, Ill., and as Associate Professor of Education at Kendall University. As an educational consultant, she also has 20-plus years’ experience in working with teachers, staff, parents and communities to develop leading-edge youth education programs.
McGee-Swope holds a Ph.D. in Teacher Leadership from Walden University and a Masters of Education in Early Childhood Leadership and Advocacy from National-Louis University. She also earned certification as an Infant Specialist from Erickson Institute, one of the nation’s top child development graduate schools.
About the YMCA of Central Florida
The YMCA of Central Florida is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to lasting personal and social change through Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. Each day 35,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2014, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees across 6 Florida counties impacted over 235,000 residents and provided $10.53 million in direct financial assistance to children and families.