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Franklin County Family YMCA

Franklin County Y

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Rocky Mount, Va. (January 3, 2020) – Food insecurities affect more people than we know. Hunger exists in every state, county, and community in the United States and the Franklin County YMCA is working hard to make a difference in ours.

This month, the Y is sponsoring a Friends and Family Food Drive. As part of the food drive, anyone wishing to join the Y in January can do it for free with a donation of at least three canned goods. Current YMCA members are also encouraged to donate food items and, when referring new members to join, will receive their next month free.

“You can help feed the hungry! We are asking Friends and Family of the Y to drop off non-perishable food for our canned food drive between now and the end of January,” says Jessica Thomason, Rocky Mount Branch Director, “We know people are going to join the Y for the amazing facilities and great programs. So, it was a great time to make a difference in our community while offering great perks such as no joining fee or first month fees for new members and a free month for current members who refer their friends to join the Y!”

Drop boxes are located in the lobby at each location of the Franklin County Y – Rocky Mount, Smith Mountain Lake, and Ferrum College. Food items needed include spaghetti sauce/pasta, peanut butter, jelly, canned/boxed soups and meals, canned vegetables/fruits, tuna fish, and other canned meats. Donations will be given to our local food banks and soup kitchens.  With support, community members and the Y can help hundreds of families.

For more information on this and other membership programs at the Franklin County YMCA please contact Jessica Thomason at (540)489-9622 or jthomason@franklincountyymca.org

 

 

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Rocky Mount, Va. (December 12, 2019) – Along with offering 2nd Grade Swimming, a program that teaches important water safety skills to every 2nd grader in Franklin County, the Y now offers swim lessons as a part of the curriculum at the Y’s Land of Wonder Preschool. These lessons are being offered to all preschoolers, ages 3 to 5 years old. Each class participates in 8 sessions in the fall and then another 8 sessions in the spring.

 

“Swimming is a lifelong skill and we believe that starting them as young as possible gives them the advantage of being prepared.” says Hope Vaccaro, Childcare Director of the Franklin County Family YMCA’s Land of Wonder Preschool. “Many of our Y kids start lessons in the preschool, then continue on and advance their skills at Y Summer Camp once they are school-age. By the time they're in middle school, they have been given the skills needed in order to be a confident and safe swimmer!”

 

Each group has seven to ten preschoolers and two groups go per morning with a total of 14-20 children, split between two instructors, participating in a 45 minute lesson. The fall sessions have been completed, but lessons will resume in March when preschoolers will complete eight more sessions.

 

“These swim lessons, not only teach water safety skills and confidence, but also open up opportunities for the future. The Y’s Riptide Swim Team is mostly made up of children who got started in the Y’s swim lessons at a young age and have grown a love for water and for competing. Swim team participants also have the opportunity to compete for scholarships as they work their way up through school,” says Kameron Kitts, Aquatics Director and head coach for the Riptides swim team.

 

If you’re interested in learning more about the Land of Wonder Preschool please contact Hope Vaccaro at (540)489-9622 or hvaccaro@franklincountyymca.org. For more information on this and other aquatics programs at the Franklin County YMCA please contact Kameron Kitts at (540)489-9622 or kkitts@franklincountyymca.org.

 

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Rocky Mount, Va. (November 13, 2019) – On Saturday, November 2nd 12 swimmers on the Riptide Swim team attended their first swim meet of the season. The meet was held at the Bedford Family YMCA against teams from Alleghany, Altivista and Bedford.  Two swimmers qualified for the Upper Southeast Regional YMCA Meet, Landon Akers qualified in the 100 Breast and the 100 Fly; Brayden Shirley qualified in the 50 fly and he cut time in all three of his individual events. 

On Saturday, November 9th The Riptides took eight swimmers to Eden competing in the Veteran’s Day Invitational.  Overall the team came in sixth out of seven teams.  The Riptide boys came in third overall and the girls came in fifth.  Landon Akers, Chase Davis, Alec Dow and Brayden Shirley cut time in all three events while competing. 

"The team has been working very hard in the pre-season practices, I am glad that the athletes are seeing that work pay off,” says Head Coach and Aquatics Director for the Franklin County Family YMCA, Kameron Kitts,  “we have several kids who are close to Regional times, it will be exciting to see how many qualify this year."

The next meet is being held on November 16th at the Danville Family YMCA for their Pilgrim Plunge Invitational attending this year is Eden, Southside, Martinsville, Altivista and Danville YMCAs. For more information on this and other aquatics programs at the Franklin County YMCA please contact Kameron Kitts at (540)489-9622 or kkitts@franklincountyymca.org

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Rocky Mount, Va. (October 30, 2019) – The Y is partnering with Goodwill to host their Community School-to-Work Transition Program this school year! Goodwill’s School-To-Work program is a prevocational program that combines skills-building with real-world, on-the-job training and wage earning.  The career pathway is designed for high school students receiving special education as they transition into the workforce.

This program, and the community partnerships involved, ensures these young adults receive the work experience and skill sets that allow them to gain employment in the future. Students also receive education credits towards their high school diploma for taking part in this program.

”We are so thankful for the helpful and always smiling volunteers from Goodwill! Mornings at the Rocky Mount Y provide an excellent environment for these young adults to gain valuable work experience and self-confidence because our members and staff are engaging and volunteers receive praise for their hard work every day," says Victoria Brown, Ferrum YMCA Director and volunteer program coordinator.

The Y and Goodwill also partnered over the summer on the Summer Pre-Employment Transition Program where participants took care of the playground up the hill from the Y. Together, The Y and Goodwill, re-mulched the playgrounds and fixed a playground obstacle to be safer for use.

“The Community School-to-Work Transition Program students are currently enjoying developing job skills while helping at the local YMCA! The students look forward to coming to the YMCA every day and feel appreciated by the staff and community daily,” says Crystal Wade, Goodwill Pre-Employment Specialist.

Upon successful completion of the School-to-Work program, individuals will be referred to supportive employment, occupational training or job placement. The Franklin County Family YMCA is always seeking opportunities to positively impact young adults in the community; the partnership with Goodwill perfectly aligns with the Y mission.

 

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Rocky Mount, Va. (October 18, 2019) – October is national bullying prevention month. Bullying is a key social issue that impacts many kids and their ability to reach their full potential. Whether the bullying is physical, verbal or online, those who are bullied can suffer negative effects, including depression, poor performance in school, physical illness and increased risk for suicide.

Everyone involved with young people has a role to play in preventing this damaging behavior. One way the Franklin County YMCA’s SAFE before and after school program helps prevent bullying is by making sure staff and students display qualities of an “upstander” – someone who recognizes when bullying is happening and safely works to stop it.

Promoting positive behaviors like being an upstander can be part of the solution to bullying. At the Franklin County Y, modeling positive behaviors is foundational to everything we do. Our core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility form the roots of our work, helping young people become the changemakers our communities need to become strong. “A big part of what we do in our after school program is make young leaders. A huge part of that is to give them guidance on how to treat others and how important it is to be kind.” Jamie Stump, Childcare Coordinator.

YMCAs nationwide work hard every day to provide safe spaces for children to grow and thrive. This is part of our commitment to helping develop and activate young people so they can transform communities today and in the future.

Three actions anyone can take to prevent bullying is to treat others kindly and with respect, interrupt and report bullying incidents, and show support for the bullied person. Learn how to support victims of bullying by visiting ymca.net/membernews. To learn more about Franklin County YMCAs SAFE before and after school program contact Jamie Stump at (540)489-9622 or jstump@franklincountyymca.org.

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