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Jessica came to the YMCA with loads of ideas on how to make learning fun and effective for kids. Jessica embraced the opportunity to lead programs like our first STEM Learning Initiative lesson, potato batteries.
“I gathered all of the materials needed and designed the lesson plan around electrical currents and the kids loved it! They were all so excited to see if their potato would lit up a small LED light bulb. The light bulbs never lit up and that is when the lesson shifted from achieving a goal, to trying new things and learning from failures.”
Since Jessica’s time with us at the Y she has been accepted into the Mechanical Engineering Program at the University of Utah. We are so fortunate to have had Jessica as a volunteer with our Y. On behalf of our entire YMCA Afterschool Program staff and students, thank you for investing in our kids.
Jenny has been volunteering for the Y’s Preschool Program for about a year through Salt Lake Community College’s America Reads Program. “I was nervous on my first day in the Preschool classroom, I didn’t interact with the kids much, I just kept to the task that was given to me. Eventually I became more and more comfortable and began leading small projects and lessons.”
For many of the Preschool students English is their second language and that was a major barrier between them and their academic potential. Jenny speaks Spanish and was able to connect with our Spanish-speaking students that needed extra attention. Jenny is proud to have made an impact in lives of her students and has learned so much from the Y’s Preschool Staff.
There are a lot of places Jenny could be spending her time volunteering, but she chose our YMCA. On behalf of the entire YMCA Preschool Staff and students, thank you Jenny for your time and dedication.
Zoey has been attending Camp Roger for years, but her Camp Roger experiences would not have been possible without the Financial Assistance Program the YMCA offers.
Zoey was shy and worried about being perceived as "goofy" by her fellow campers her first summer. She quickly learned that Camp Roger was a place where she could be herself and try new things without the judgement of other kids. Her second summer she jumped right into all of the camp activities without hesitation and set a fearless example for all the other campers.
This year Zoey participated in a new leadership program, called Rising Stars, which helped develop team-building skills for two weeks. Zoey quickly became a leader among her peers, helping around camp and even leading songs in front of the entire camp. It has been rewarding to see Zoey gain confidence and discover her full potential throughout her years at Camp Roger.
When Tatiana was in 3rd grade she was reading below a kindergarten level. Our Site Coordinator, Helen, had many conversations with Tatiana's teachers and parents to find the best way to support Tatiana.
Helen created a new activity for all youth in the Y's Afterschool Program to participate in that helped them all learn how to pronounce new words, spell them, and learn their definition. All the kids loved the activity, many are now reading more just to find new words they haven't learned yet.
Tatiana's ready fluency has skyrocketed since the activity began. We are so proud to have Site Coordinators like Helen that can develop programs to fit the unique needs of all of our kids. The Y gives kids a place to learn and thrive.
Prince is one of our Taylorsville Preschool Program students, and he enjoys coming to the Community Family Center every day because he loves to learn. "I like learning about animals and dinosaurs. My favorite dinosaur is the one with a long neck." When asked who was his best friend at school Prince said, "everyone is my friend here!"
Prince's simple answers remind us of the essentials of preschool learning and how vital a good experience is to the development process.
The Y's Preschool Program is designed to support each kid's personal development, offer families guidance, and encourage each kid to reach his full potential. The Y gives parents the peace of mind that their kids are well cared for, learning and having fun in a safe environment, and their best interest is always in mind.