August 24, 2012

 

At the Y, we are committed to come alongside parents and guardians to make this school year a time when kids realize their potential and discover who they are and what they are able to achieve.  Here are a few ways we are helping parents and children have a less stressful school year.

HIGH QUALITY, AFFORDABLE AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS

With parents working harder than ever, they need an affordable and reliable option for after school care.  Children without productive, supervised activities can get involved in drugs, crime, and other activities that negatively impact their future. That’s why the Y works directly with the local school system to offer safe and nurturing After School programs where we teach kids to use their time constructively by pursuing fun, creative activities and exercise that reinforce essential learning skills.

Some children face limited educational opportunities even while they are in school due to budget restrictions within their district – a situation that fosters an academic achievement gap between children of different income levels.  Our After School programs for Elementary and Middle School children allows students to keep learning after school gets out and is offered on site so families don’t have to arrange additional transportation. During this out-of-school time, the Y is providing additional academic support from qualified educators to  help narrow the achievement gap and keep kids from falling behind during the academic year. Parents can rest-assured knowing their child is staying active and learning in our After School programs.

 

YOUTH SPORTS: SO MUCH MORE THAN A GAME

It is extremely important for kids to start the school year off with a boost of confidence. Kids stress about what their peers think of them at school, and the Y’s youth sports program addresses this issue by enabling kids to develop confidence, strong self-esteem, a true sense of purpose, and a positive view of their future.

When it comes to youth sports in Central Florida, the Y offers more opportunities, more teams and more fun. Every day, 1,000 kids play their hearts out on our soccer fields and basketball courts in a safe, nurturing environment.  With the help of their caring coaches, many of which are volunteers, kids develop game skills, good sportsmanship and the friendships they need to keep thriving.

And with more obesity, heart disease and diabetes on the rise, it’s never been more important to help the kids of our community embrace exercise and discover the fun side of an active lifestyle, which also reduces stress.

BACK TO SCHOOL STRESS RELIEVING TIPS

  • Plan meals ahead.  Save time and energy during the ultra-busy school/work-week by making meals ahead of time over the weekend. Make a double batch when cooking during the week to use during an evening that is especially busy. Invest in a family planner to get recipes and lists organized.
  • Edit your closets.  Make a family event out of picking out, ironing and lining up school and work outfits with your children on a Sunday afternoon. Make sure you get the student handbook out and follow the dress code.
  • Start out early.  Subtract 20 minutes from your family’s morning leave time and make that time your goal. This may allow time to chat and relax before going out the door and can start the day out positive and peaceful. Take a trial run to prevent cranky kids.
  • Make it a good night.  Establish an easy bedtime routine allowing 10-15 minutes each evening for reading together or talking about your day. This establishes a connection with your child that helps them get the Zzzs they need for a stress free day.
  • Family dates.  Schedule date nights for the whole family. Whether it’s going to a family event at the Y, making a meal together or taking a walk, there are many small things that can reduce stress and make lasting memories during the school year.