YMCA receives grant

A local facility received a special grant to implement a children’s reading program.

The Wapakoneta Family YMCA received a $2,500 grant from Dominion Gas, which will be used to implement a reading program through their before and after school program, a Wapakoneta Family YMCA official says.

“On behalf of the YMCA, we are grateful of Dominion Gas for recognizing our child care program,” Wapakoneta Family YMCA CEO Joshua Little said.

The grant will allow thelocal YMCA to purchase a set of a “100 Book Challenge for Elementary School” for students of the before and after school program.

The 100 Book Challenge is a program from the American Reading Company and is a unique program that partners with the YMCA to identify each student’s level using national standards, Little said.

Ongoing assessment continually matches the right instruction and the right books to each child, according to americanreading.com.

This program has some incentives, including engaging parents.

The 100 Book Challenge program has already been purchased from the American Reading Company, and will soon be incorporated, as there is some time needed for training before implementing the program to the students.

Little explained the YMCA makes sure their childcare program is more than just a childcare program, and that it allows an educational learning experience for the children.

“Our before and after school program is more than just child care,” Little said. “Our program involves tutoring, physical activity and now we will be able to offer more instruction and books to improve reading skills. We are very thankful to Dominion Gas for their support of the YMCA and children literacy programs.”

Little also shared how important he believes reading is.

“Reading is the most important skill a child can learn,” Little said.

This new program will be an asset to the Wapakoneta City Schools, as it will be an extension of the school day.

The Wapakoneta YMCA’s before and after school program runs Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.  

The program is state licensed and takes place at the YMCA, 1100 Defiance St. and financial assistance is available for the program for those that qualify.