Y Stories

Stay up-to-date with the latest news and happenings from the Ozarks Regional YMCA and its 7 branches.

Love at first sight at the YMCA

Eharmony eat your heart out. Hollister YMCA’s SilverSneaker fitness class turned out a heart smart choice for two local seniors in more ways than one. On the first day of class, Janice Harl took one look at fellow class attendee Chris Farell and her heartbeat did a few extra repetitions. “She came over that first day and asked me if I wanted to go to Silver Dollar City with her,” Farell said. He wasted no time in saying “yes.” That was in May. That first date began a fast-track to love. The SilverSneaker class hosted an engagement reception for the couple - after the exercise class, of course. The two were married on Oct., 31. “It’s a match made in heaven,” Farell said. Farell retired as the

Hopping the achievement gap

Staff from the Ozarks Regional YMCA traveled to Washington, D.C. for the first annual YUSA Achievement Gap Convening. Y staff attended workshops, learned from collective impact model experts, and discussed ways of implementing local evidence based programing. The purpose of the event was to educate and align Y affiliates around a common mission to move the needle on academic achievement. Working with pilot sites, YUSA has developed programming that has shown to reduce summer reading loss, improve social-emotional skills, improve school conduct, and increase self-sufficiency. By empowering Y’s across the country to use these best practices, YUSA aims to make a measurable impact in reducing th

Building confidence with dodgeball

However, for 1st grader Cuylar, this was an intimidating and scary setting at first. On the first night of the league session, Cuylar didn’t venture far from his parents. We could tell by his actions that it was a lot to take in for this youngster. The amount of participants that were in attendance, their parents, the balls flying from one side of the gym to the other, would be a lot for many to absorb. Throughout the evening Cuylar found his courage and slowly took one small step at a time away from his parents and into line to play. By the time his turn came up, it was the last game of the evening but he was in and having a great time. Over the course of the next few weeks, Cuylar didn’t

Camp Wakonda gets new lake

Get ready for some good old fashioned splashin’, fishin’ and boatin’ for the summer of 2016! YMCA Camp Wakonda recently broke ground on a pond expansion that will change our current 1 acre pond into a 5 acre lake. This will mean more room for some favorite activities like canoeing, kayaking and fishing, and allow for us to add some exciting new activities like swimming, water trampolines and air blobs. The new lake will feature a large sand beach on the expanded shoreline. An existing building, located at the east end of the lake, will serve as the boathouse, housing canoes, kayaks, paddles, life jackets and fishing poles. As enrollment at camp continues to increase an additional swimming ar

Closing the achievement gap

The Ozarks Regional YMCA in partnership with the Ozarks Literacy Council and funding from Community Foundation of the Ozarks’ Innovation Grant are teaming up for collective impact. The project is a pilot that will lay the foundation for future achievement gap initiatives in the Ozarks Regional YMCA’s after school program. The network currently serves over 2,000 youth in 35+ schools across the region. If successful, it has the potential with community support to create population level impact on academic achievement, when scaled and implemented in other schools. It could also be a part of a future community-wide cradle to career collective impact model. This pilot program will pair 20 element

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