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Jody Holton: Summer fun can begin at the Y

MOM, I’m Bored!  The words that every mother dreads with the beginning summer.

The fact is, in America, 31 percent of households with children are two income families.  Mom and Dad both work to give their families a good life.  Unfortunately, that involves finding reliable, safe, and let’s not forget, FUN childcare for those elementary school aged children.  Our communities in Mid and South Jefferson County are very fortunate to have a YMCA to provide programs for the whole family, year round.

Summer time is a special time at the Y, from June 8 through August 21 we will be providing Summer Day Camp fun for about 200 children.   From 7 a.m. until 6 p.m., five days a week, children between the ages of 5-12 will have days full of music, sports, games, arts and crafts, play time, reading, swimming, movies, special presentations by the police and fire departments, and field trips.  Everything a kid wants in a summer holiday!  Your child needs only to bring two snacks and a sack lunch.  Field trips are a small extra fee.  Financial Scholarships are available to help make Y programs open to everyone.

Did someone mention swimming?  The Y believes every child should have the skills to safely enjoy the water.  Here, so close to the Gulf Coast, we are surrounded by rivers, lakes, ponds, swimming pools and of course, the ocean.  It is vitally important for everyone to be safe in the water.  The Y teaches over 300 children and youth to swim each year.

Drowning is the second largest cause of accidental death in ages 1-14.  Texas has the fouth largest amount of drowning deaths in children in the entire United States, with 73 child/youth drownings in 2014.  Enroll your child in certified swim lessons today!  At the Y we have swim lessons for all skill levels.  Mommy and Me classes for infants with their parents, group lessons beginning at age 3 and private lessons for any ages.

We strongly encourage parents to put their children in swim lessons every year to progress up the skill levels.  Each level learns new techniques and all levels will benefit from the water safety section of the course.  We have a 25 meter indoor pool, locker rooms for youth boys and girls and adult locker rooms for ages 19 and up.

Wait!  This fun is just beginning!  What is a summer without sports?  Everyone Can Play! All youth and teen sports are non-competitive. Participants can look forward to meeting new and old friends as they are being taught basic fundamentals, sportsmanship, and code of conduct. The YMCA promotes the “Everyone Can Play Rule”! Registration is open right now for T-Ball/Coach Pitch Youth Baseball for ages 3-11, Summer Hoops Basketball for ages 3-13, Summer Cheerleading for ages 4-10, Volleyball Camp for grades 4-7, Cheer Camp, and Summer Sports Camp for ages 5-12.

It’s very easy to get your child registered.  Stop by the Y at 6760 Ninth Avenue in Port Arthur, visit the website for more information and to download Registration forms and Financial Scholarship packet at www.ymcasoutheasttexas.org, and find the Y on FaceBook at YMCA Southeast Texas, Port Arthur Branch.

With all that is available at the Y, Mom and Dad will never hear those two words — “I’m BORED”.  The Y, we are more than a Gym, we are a Cause!

Jody Holton is marketing director for the YMCA of Southeast Texas, Port Arthur Branch.