Hartley YMCA partners with local elementary school

Oct. 29, 2013 @ 05:22 PM

Oak Hill Elementary and the Hartley Drive Family YMCA have joined forces to offer second-graders an opportunity they might not usually have.
The school is encouraging the children to learn new skills, and the Hartley YMCA is providing the opportunity. They will provide the bus driver, the instructors and, for some, the swimsuits.
“Oak Hill students do not get a lot of opportunity to come to this side of High Point for swim lessons. There are too many kids in the area who do not have the opportunity, so when the opportunity came up with Oak Hill, it was something we jumped on,” said Robbie Smith, associate executive director of the YMCA. “It is fun for us to get these kids into our building and watch them learn to swim and learn life skills.”
Every Tuesday, more than 30 children will go to the Hartley YMCA to take swim lessons and participate in soccer and basketball games.
Children will go to the YMCA once a week for 10 weeks. The sessions last about 40 minutes.
One group focuses on swim lessons and skills, while the other will focus on field and gym games.
“Kids need to be active at every age, and that is important to us. Swimming is a life skill, and that is something the kids need to know. The older kids get, it is a lot harder to learn. When they are younger, they get a lot more comfortable,” Smith said. “Introducing kids to soccer or basketball, you may end up introducing a kid to a sport that they may love all their life or through their teenage years. It is something the kids can be passionate about and have fun doing. It’s an outlet for them.”
Students say they’re excited to have the opportunities.
“I signed up because I needed to learn how to swim,” said Nasique Dayes, 7. “It’s important because you might drown.”
Even though Tuesday was their first day, 8-year-old Edlyn Martinez said she is excited about future trips to the YMCA.
“I wanted to have fun and learn how to swim,” Martinez said. “It was fun. I was on the bus and I was excited. It was awesome.”
Smith is hoping that the YMCA will be able to offer this partnership with other schools in the area.
“Oak Hill is the first school that we have worked with on this, and we hope that we can do more things with them and then branch into other schools,” Smith said.
cdavis@hpe.com | 888-3657