YMCA elevates its programs to enhance local youth programs.
Some significant enhancements are being developed at the Wenatchee Valley YMCA that will help youngsters in our valley develop healthy relationships, confidence and fitness.
This is an organization moving forward aggressively to serve its mission in our communities. They are accomplishing this through collaboration, innovative thinking, and a commitment to “notching up” the YMCA programs, in the words of CEO Dorry Foster.
I interviewed Foster recently for my Art of Community NCW podcast, which can be accessed via iTunes or through the artofcommunityncw.com web site.
In a little over a year, she and her team have been in high gear building on the strong foundation established by her predecessor, Eric Nelson. The focus is, as she says, on “notching up” existing and new programs to better serve the needs of the kids in our valley.
Here are a few of the key developments:
– A program called Out of Bounds connects our elementary students and gets them out into the community for experiential learning opportunities in our valley. Kids get to meet local public service officials and learn about our valley’s commerce through activities and presentations with businesses outside of the YMCA. Tessa Makximenko, the director of youth programs, runs the program.
– An expansion of the YMCA Camp at Lake Wenatchee with the addition of a 20-bed cabin named for Eric Nelson that will be available in 2019.
– A collaboration with Eastmont School District to run the Student Care program on a year-round basis, currently serving 220 Eastmont students.
– A collaboration with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) developing Ment2B, a mentoring program that the Y will expand throughout the valley.
– A collaboration with the Wenatchee School District to allow the Y to use its pool for swim lessons during the summer when the Eastmont YMCA Aquatics Center is closed for six months of renovation.
– A new Backyard Pool Program, which will initiate this year and will have the YMCA providing safety assessments and Safety Around Water lessons to help homeowners with pools do so safely.
The Backyard Pool Program is an example of the organization starting to do more neighborhood outreach, something that Foster believes is a big opportunity to have an even bigger impact on the community.
What makes the whole system run for the benefit of kids who cannot afford it is community generosity YMCA volunteers are canvassing the community asking people to support the Partners With Youth scholarship effort.
Let’s give generously to support such an important and forward-thinking organization that means so much to the quality of life for our valley.
The private donations really add up, said Foster. The 500 to 600 people who support the campaign provide an “incredible statement to the valley” about how much we care about all of the kids in the valley, she added.
Feel free to contact Foster at [email protected] or call the office at 662-2109.