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YMCA PRESCHOOL INSPIRES YOUTH INVOLVEMENT
Rocky Mount, Va. (March 20, 2017) - The Rocky Mount Baptist Church worked on a youth project over the summer where 18 youth (at VBS) painted crates and tires for the Y Land of Wonder Preschool. The colorful crates are being used in each classroom to hold the children's blocks, puzzles, books, etc. The tires will be used to extend the preschool's vegetable garden outside.
This is the second year that Land of Wonder Preschoolers helped plant and maintains a garden outside of their playground. They've been learning all about "farm to table" and the importance of farmers, gardening, & healthy eating.
“We'd like to thank the Rocky Mount Baptist Church Youth Group for reaching out to our preschool and providing us with some beautiful additions for our school! Thanks to the Sweeney Family for delivering these to the Y and to Erin Lynch for coordinating it all!” says Hope Vaccaro Preschool Director with the Y.
The Y Land of Wonder Preschool runs year-round and is open Mon - Fri, 6AM - 6PM. For more information about our preschool (rated as a VA Quality Center) please call 540-489-9622
YMCA OFFERS FREE KNITTING CLUB FOR CHARITY
Rocky Mount, Va. (August 29, 2017) – The Franklin County Family YMCA announced today that its Knitting Club will return this fall and continue through the spring. The group is free to everyone in the community and meets the second and fourth Tuesday every month from 2pm to 5pm at the Y in Rocky Mount. The group is led by master knitter, YMCA member and volunteer Shelia Pierce.
“I really enjoy teaching and passing on my knowledge of knitting. I have been knitting and crocheting from my childhood, and have taught here in Franklin County for over 20 years,” says Pierce.
The items knitted during the program are donated to a local charity called Adele’s Legacy which gives the clothing items to children in the area. The group will learn to knit scarves, hats and even sweaters. No experience is necessary for someone to join the group and advanced knitters are also welcome.
“We are so happy to be able to offer this program to the community at no charge. Shelia is an excellent instructor and I think people will really enjoy themselves,” says Randy Simpson Fitness Director at the YMCA.
This will be the seventh year the program has been offered at the Y and is set to begin on September 26th. For more information call 540-489-9622.
The FRESH Coalition and the Franklin County Family YMCA partnered to host an After Prom event on April 29th from 11:30pm to 3am. This is the second year the event was offered to Junior and Senior students and their prom dates. The event is designed as a fun, safe and drug/alcohol free alternative for students to attend after they leave prom.
“We were excited to host the event again this year. It’s important for kids to have a safe and fun place to go and enjoy themselves after prom. It’s a special time in the lives of youth and we are so happy to be a part of it,” says Jamie Stump, Child Care Coordinator with the YMCA.
Nationally, statistics show that a third of alcohol related traffic accidents for teens happen during “peak prom season” which is from April to June. Parents need to be aware of the increased risk of parties with underage drinking and the potential dangers that come with these parties. Parents should take positive measures to help ensure that these special times are safe and drug free for their teens. Parents should also be aware that providing alcohol to minors is against the law and allowing underage alcohol consumption on their property is dangerous and illegal, especially for youth. Binge drinking, consuming 4-5 drinks within two hours, is especially common during times of celebration and is extremely risky for teenagers whose brains are still developing. In a recent survey of high school students by AAA, 44% said that it was likely they or their friends would consume alcohol or drugs on prom night. The FRESH Prevention Coalition is hosting this event as a safe opportunity for youth to have fun and celebrate without the need or pressure to include alcohol or other substances.
“We want teens to feel like they have options for celebrating this exciting time in their life. It’s great when they realize they can hang out without the need for using alcohol as a crutch to have fun, “ stated Regina Clark, coordinator of the FRESH Coalition.
FRESH also partnered with the Office of the Sheriff to promote students committing to a safe prom season by signing a “Prom Promise” stating they will commit to being drug and alcohol free during prom. “A Prom Promise is a great way to promote and commit to a safe prom night for students and it’s a promise they’re making to their friends, family, school, and community. We care about our kids and want them to be safe,” commented Officer Joe Wooldridge, Student Resource Officer at Franklin County High School. Students who participated in the prom promise and attended the After Prom Party were entered for a chance a cash prize.
This year’s event had a live DJ, numerous door prizes including a chance to win a free car, inflatables, donated refreshments from McDonald’s and the Y’s swimming pool will be open. The event is free to all Junior and Senior students and their dates. Doors will be locked at 12:30am so students wishing to attend must arrive before then.
The Franklin County Family YMCA announced today that its CEO, Jim Currie, will retire on July 31, 2017 after having served as the leader of the YMCA for the last four years. Jim joined the Franklin County YMCA at a time when the YMCA faced serious financial difficulties that had pushed it to the brink of failure after losing ownership of two of its buildings.
“We cannot thank Jim enough for all he has done to bring our YMCA back from our financial difficulties and for building a strong management team that will continue our growth and success”, said Kevin McAlexander, the Branch and Membership Manager at the Rocky Mount YMCA location.
Jim brought a wealth of leadership experience to the YMCA, including a background in fixing broken businesses, increasing revenues, fostering a results-driven culture, and developing new market strategies.
“I am glad to have been able to help an organization that is so valuable to our community, improve and grow. Our YMCA now reaches more residents in our community than ever before with programs such as our second grade swim (which has taught more than 1800 students to swim), our returning military program that helps our brave soldiers with PTSD re-acclimate, our law enforcement officers health program that has proven to improve their fitness, our Script Fit program that connects doctors, patients and personal trainers to track improved health results, and our successful diabetes prevention program. These along with our successful childcare programs have made a difference in the lives of many residents and our financial scholarships for those with financial difficulties, have made our mission of inclusion, possible.”
Bill Cooper, the President of the Franklin County Family YMCA, said “In four short years, Jim has had a valuable and positive impact on our YMCA. He has added signature programs, fostered community events, expanded our Board of Directors, restored the YMCA standing with YUSA, and created Group Membership programs involving many community organizations. His efforts have brought our community closer together. We thank him for his service and his many contributions to our YMCA.”
This past weekend the Franklin County Family YMCA Riptide swim team participated in the Piedmont YMCA Swimming Association’s annual championship meet. The team overall placed highly and saw several swimmers set meet records.
“We are so proud of the Y’s swimmers. They put a lot of time into training and practicing and it has been great to see them develop and improve over the season,” says J.T. Boyd the Riptide Swim Coach.
A total of 13 swim teams competed in the championship meet from March 3rd to the 5th. The Riptide boy's swim team placed 2nd, and the Riptide swim team placed 4th overall, despite having less swimmers than many of the larger teams. Four swimmers were high point winners. High point winners are awarded to the individual who scored the most points in the meet for their respective age group, a total of 12 groups. Allison Teer won high point winner for 13-14 girls, Mallorie Teer won for 11-12 girls, Griffon Lester won high point winner for 6 and under boys and Gabe Lester won for 9-10 boys. Three swimmers also came in second for high point winner, Grayson Altice for 7-8 boys, Levi Wright for 13-14 boys, and Brendan Dow for 15 and older boys. Several swimmers also broke championship swim meet records including Griffon Lester setting a new record for 6 and under boys 100 yard freestyle and Maddox Conley setting a new record for 8 and under 25 yard breaststroke.
The YMCA team which competes year round, has had an exceptional season. Swimmers range in age from 5 to 17 and are taught sportsmanship as well as swimming skills. The team started back in the late 90’s and has been a part of the Franklin County Y for nearly 20 years. The 2017 season is one of the best in the history of the Y with many swimmers breaking team and meet records.
“It’s incredibly important for the Y’s aquatics center to be available to all in the community,” says Kameron Kitts Aquatics Director with the YMCA. He goes on to say “That’s why we partner with Franklin County Public Schools for the High School Swim Team and the Y’s second grade swim program, with Carilion for aquatic physical therapy and even the Creek Freaks for kayak clinics. But we are especially proud of our Y team and all they’ve accomplished this season and are so grateful to our coach, swimmers, swim parents, volunteers and meet judges.”
The YMCA is currently accepting new swimmers for the program’s spring/summer season which runs from May to July. To join stop by the YMCA in Rocky Mount or for more information call the Y at 540-489-9622.
CREEK FREAKS AND YMCA PARTNER TO OFFER KAYAK PROGRAMS
New Kayak program to be offered on Sundays at the YMCA.
Rocky Mount, Va. (February 12, 2016) – The Creek Freaks paddling club will be offering Kayak centered “open paddling” at the Franklin County Family YMCA’s aquatic center in Rocky Mount. The program, which will be held on Sundays from 2:30pm to 4:30pm from February until the end of March, will be an open format for participants to practice rolls, strokes and other techniques.
“This is the third year we have hosted the Creek Freak’s open paddle program in our pool. It is a great opportunity for people to practice techniques in “calm” waters before spring and summer season get here,” says Kevin McAlexander Branch Director at the Rocky Mount Facility.
The Creek Freaks are a group of outdoor enthusiasts that love to paddle all over the region and take a special interest in The Franklin County blueways according to their Facebook page.
People interested in participating in the program can attend by bringing their cleaned boat to the YMCA on any scheduled Sunday excluding February 21st and the cost is $5 per participant.
OVER 500 CHILDREN GRADUATE SWIM PROGRAM SO FAR
The Franklin County YMCA concludes instruction second grade swim program for the year.
Rocky Mount, Va. (January 5th, 2016) The Franklin County Family YMCA has taught swim lessons to 536 second grade students as a part of its 2015 safe swim program. The classes began back in August and finished up on December 18th. Each class, from all 12 elementary schools, received 10 days of instruction individualized to each swimmers skill level.
The primary focus of the program is to teach children lifesaving skills to help prevent drowning. 451 students out of the overall group have reached a level where in a water emergency they could save themselves or survive until help arrived. To make certain each student is able to learn something new from the program four different curriculums (beginner to advanced) are employed. At a basic level students learn to be comfortable in the water, to float and not to panic. At the advanced level students are given the opportunity to refine basic swim strokes and tread water for long periods of time.
“Nationally drowning is the 3rd most common accidental cause of death for children. So, the most important thing for us, as instructors, is to teach the kids to be safe in and around water,” says TJ Ross the Aquatics Coordinator with the YMCA.
In addition to instruction time, children get free time to play and practice the skills they’ve learned. On the final day of a school’s lessons, parents are invited to observe what their children have learned.
“This community has been really been supportive of this program. Everyone seems to really believe in what we are doing and how important it is to our youth. It’s been great year for the program and we are already beginning to fund raise for next year’s 2nd grade class. If you would like to make a donation to the program you can do so on our website, by mail, or in person at the YMCA. I would also be happy to come talk to any organization about a sponsorship for this program.” says Andrea Fansler, Director of Development with the Y.
CLICK HERE TO DONATE TO THIS GREAT PROGRAM!
The Smith Mountain Lake YMCA Offers Extended Hours
The Lakewatch location will be accessible until midnight.
Smith Mountain Lake, VA. (October 16, 2015) – Starting October 19th the Franklin County YMCA at its Smith Mountain Lake location, will offer access until midnight through its Access Advantage Program. Using the Advantage card, members can use the facility from 5:00am to midnight, seven days per week.
Extended hours have not been previously offered, so this new convenience is expected to increase membership. Both existing members and new members can purchase an Advantage card to receive access by filling out an application beginning Monday, October 19th. Participants in the program will pay only a one-time fee of $25 for the Y Advantage card.
“This program will make it more convenient for those who work during the day, by reaching people in the community who believe in the YMCA’s mission, but cannot find time during the day to work out at the Y. This program was designed to meet member request and is another example of how the Y serves our community,” says Branch Director Lauren Acker.
The new Access Advantage card will allow members to use all of the exercise equipment, but not the gym or the tennis courts.
For more information on the Access Advantage Program at the Smith Mountain Lake YMCA call (540)721-9622.
WOMEN LEARN SELF DEFENSE TECHNIQUES AT YMCA
The Franklin County YMCA offered a one day women’s self-defense seminar in Rocky Mount.
Rocky Mount, Va. (October 19, 2015) – In partnership with the Town of Rocky Mount Police department the Franklin County Family YMCA offered a one day women’s self-defense seminar at its Rocky Mount Facility this past Saturday.
Women from all over Franklin County participated in the seminar at the YMCA learning self-confidence, protection under the law, defensive tactics and other practical safety tips. The Y in partnership with the Town of Rocky Mount police have offered a self-defense program to the community since 2009. Sergeant of Investigation Josh Harris and Community Resource Officer Ryan King offered instruction for this course.
"I enjoyed watching my teenage daughter who attended the class with me build confidence and learn valuable skills," says Tara Holley a participant who attended the program.
This fun class was designed to cover the essentials without requiring a longer time commitment from participants. The Y will be offering several more of these programs in the coming months. For more information contact the Rocky Mount YMCA at 540-489-9622.