At the Y, we know that learning doesn’t end when the school bell rings. The way children spend time outside the classroom can make a big difference in their personal development. By providing a safe place for children to keep their mind and body active while learning social skills and positive values, YMCA Kid Zone offers an enriching experience for the students and families we serve. These efforts are designed to support parents like Gina at Wood View Elementary School in Valley View School District 365U.
Gina and her husband Joseph have three kids in the YMCA’s Kid Zone program at Wood View Elementary: Bobby (11 years old), Emory (7 years old) and Theo (6 years old), each with their own unique and impactful experiences.
For Bobby, Gina noted that the Y has been particularly responsive to his special emotional needs.
“If the Y hadn’t been able to accommodate Bobby that would have been difficult to navigate. From the get-go, (Childcare Director) Sarah Porzel and the Y staff have been amazing. They have worked very hard to put any worries we had at ease,” Gina said.
Porzel credits the training YMCA Kid Zone staff have received for the high quality of childcare afforded to area families every day.
“We have worked with Valley View School District 365U to provide comprehensive training to our counselors and it has allowed them to be responsive to a wide range of situations with our students,” Porzel said.
Gina said that Kid Zone has also facilitated important social interaction for Theo, who began Kindergarten this fall.
“For him to be able to play together with other kids was very important. Kid Zone really gives kids another structured setting to interact with their peers and that has meant the most to us,” she said.
Providing students an opportunity to explore their personal interests is another important aspect of Kid Zone programming, something Gina has noticed with Emory.
“My daughter is very artsy and I know the Y offers regular craft time and projects, which has been great,” Gina said.
Overall, Gina said the YMCA Kid Zone experience has gone above and beyond to help her children thrive.
“From the moment the staff greet the kids, the level of engagement and structure is noticeable. We couldn’t be more grateful for YMCA Kid Zone,” Gina said.
If you are interested in registering for Kid Zone during the second semester of the 2022-23 school year, visit the program homepage by clicking here.