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"To put Christian principles into practice through programs which build healthy spirit mind and body for all."


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Steve Smith

Steve Smith


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Jennifer Dickey

Membership Director

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July 08, 2016 @ 12:00am

Several children playing at a camp

Happy summer.  The summer is fast approaching an end, July 4th has passed, and just like that half the summer is over.  I’m not sure how that happens!

We are in full Y BREAK mode. 

Y BREAK is our daily program that we run in the community that provides a fun filled active day, lunch, and various educational activities.  This year, nearly 250 kids each day join our Y BREAK at Madison Elementary School just down the street from the YMCA.  85 of the children are on full scholarship to participate each day and we have a waiting list for kids who are in financial need.  When I walk through the site, the kids are smiling and full of energy.  So are the staff!

I have been doing this Y thing for a long time.  Each summer I am amazed by the results that a program like Y BREAK has.  The last few years, in partnership with the Manitowoc Public School District, Southfield Townhouse Learning Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the United Way, we added an educational focus to the program.  We have certified teachers helping our staff plan activities, doing additional education for children who need it, and helping make sure that the kids don’t experience the summer slide that we often see.  This is especially important for our young ones who are financially challenged.  If money is tight in the home, the extracurricular activities that are available to children who have financial means are not on top of the priority list.  At our Y, through Y BREAK, these kids are receiving those opportunities. 

Last week, I was at an event in the community and sat with a parent of one of our Y BREAK participants.  She shared that her daughter was having a blast.  Every evening she was coming home tired, hungry (not because she didn’t receive enough food at Y BREAK but because she was burning it off so fast), and finished each day asking if she was going back tomorrow.

That says something.  First, our staff have done a good job of making Y BREAK a fun place to be.   More importantly, we have made learning fun.  We have kids wanting to do more, experience more, and be tired more.  We are having an impact on the Manitowoc community with this program.

See, learning can be fun!

See you at the Y!

Steve Smith, CEO

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