The YMCA Can Help Children With Social Skills
Will, who has lived with his grandmother since he was three years old, has spent almost his entire childhood growing up at the Grandview Family YMCA.
Because Will and his grandmother lived in the country, he was unaccustomed to being around other children. While she was unsure of how he might like it, she sent him to the summer camp program at the Grandview YMCA the summer before he started Kindergarten. He LOVED the Y Summer Camp. He took to it right away and his grandmother was so pleased at how well it prepared him for kindergarten, especially with the social skills he needed to deal with the start of school.
His grandmother, who was wearing the hat of both grandmother and mother, was overburdened financially and doesn’t know how she would have managed to have Will at the Y without the financial assistance provided from the Annual Campaign.
Will, now 14, has spent many happy school years and summers at the Y. There haven’t been many days he has missed in all these years.
Now, as a teenager, the time he spends at the Y is much different than it was the summer before Kindergarten, but his feelings about the Y haven’t changed. He was in Teen Camp this past summer and is pretty sure he wants to be a camp counselor when old enough. He worked with the horses this summer, a favorite thing, as he finds himself talking about this with his grandmother almost daily. He goes to the Y some on the weekends too, to see friends and shoot hoops.
Will’s grandmother feels hopeful that he has beaten the odds of what a teenage boy may face when raised by a single parent. Because of being reared by his grandparent and not his parents, he is well-versed in the trouble that comes from making wrong decisions. His grandmother knows peer pressure is a powerful thing, so being involved with the Y and the strong mentor found in Y staff member, Shaun Carroll, who is there who help to reinforce her loving hand will likely keep Will on the right path.
His grandmother said, “With the Ys help, I am going to keep on pushing him and, with the groundwork that has been laid, hope that when I let go of the bike he will keep pedaling down the right road.”