Jumping back into school

Jumping back into school

As the dog days of summer draw to an end, kids across the country are dragging themselves back to school only to find they aren’t as sharp as they were when school let out in May. Not the 1,300 kids across central Oklahoma who attended the YMCA's Summer Camp Program!

“When the kids leave school, they suffer from summer learning loss,” says Candice Hillenbrand, Associate Director of Financial Development for the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City. “Our goal was to keep them reading daily all summer long and to make sure they were getting plenty of exercise… and to make it fun!”

 YMCA Summer Camp

The YMCA challenged their summer camp kids and families to be a part of the Sugar-Free Summer Program. The program encouraged kids to read, exercise and drink adequate amounts of water while at the summer camps. “Every child had the opportunity to participate,” Candice said. “They signed a pledge at the beginning of summer and then received an official postcard in the mail.”

The campers worked with the counselors on math skills and nutrition lessons as well as group activities that kept them on track. As the groups reached specific benchmarks, they were given rewards like jump ropesbookmarks and backpacks featuring the YMCA logo. And, at the end of the program, the campers received a YMCA dog tag.

“We’ve seen how the kids love these simple things,” said Candice, “and it helps to encourage them to adopt a healthy lifestyle. It’s a small part of a bigger picture for the Y.”

The YMCA plays an important role in helping kids and parents think about exercise, reading and interpersonal skills. The SwagExperts at ROBYN are proud to play a part in finding creative ways for the YMCA to reinforce their fantastic brand.