This past December I emceed the Mistletoe Run, the largest running race in our area. This fantastic race, which I have been involved in for over 30 years, is a fundraiser for the YMCA of Northwest North Carolina. This event helps to fight childhood obesity. All proceeds from this race support YMCA programs that are aimed to encourage physical activity, teach positive habits, and promote healthy lifestyles among our youth.
This year, all money raised goes towards programs that support the children in our community, like swim lessons, youth sports, before & after school care, summer camp and more! It is heartwarming to see that a running race results in initiatives to serve the parents and children of the Triad.
We all know that every aspect of life has been upended by the pandemic, and those of you who are parents know that this is especially true when it comes to children’s education. After schools were closed for the end of the 2020 school year, and most of the 2020-2021 academic year, new needs arose for parents trying to keep their children safe during virtual learning, while parents return to “normal” work schedules. To address this community need, the YMCA of Northwest North Carolina created E-Learning Academies. These academies offered a safe, enriching space for students to do their schoolwork with Y staff there to assist them.
Now that children are back to in-person learning, the YMCA has shifted their focus to helping children before and after school through their Excel After the Bell programs in our local schools. Children at schools in Davie, Forsyth, Iredell, Stokes, and Wilkes Counties partner with the YMCA to offer before and after school care onsite at participating schools. The programming of the YMCA joins with the safety and security of our school facilities to provide students with academic support, confidence and career development, games, and fitness and health education, plus more!
We all know the importance of getting a good education, but as the pandemic has taught us, we also need a safe learning environment for students. The YMCA of Northwest North Carolina is offering this service to the children of the Triad to help families with their educational and social and emotional needs in these unprecedented times.
If you or someone you know would like to learn more about the Excel After the Bell program, please visit their website for more information. Now, let’s all get out there and support our students!!