For many kids in the Moshannon Valley, the local branch of the YMCA of Centre County is more than just a few big buildings across from the football field. It is a second home.
During the school year, the littlest ones troop back to Mimi Hazelton’s classrooms, where they learn to use blunt scissors and glue sticks, to follow directions and play well with others, to line up and take turns.
Later in the day, kindergartners through sixth-graders pour off buses and out of cars to come to the Y’s after school programs. They flow past Judy Sinclair’s front desk to have a snack, play games, do crafts and more, all in a safe and supervised environment that feels less like a baby-sitter and more like a special treat.
Over the summer, they come back for day camp or take part in the summer lunch program. Older kids might bat in the cages or take center stage in a Summer Youth Theatre production, or work out in the weight room. The Y has always, and will always, be less a place than it is a family that you grow up in, moving from the children’s table to have a place with the adults.
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Doing that takes money, however. Right now, the Moshannon Valley branch is having a fundraiser to support its before- and after-school programs.
If you haven’t gotten to order your boxes of fresh oranges and grapefruits, do so today. Right now. Orders are due, and you don’t have any time to waste to get 20 pounds of citrus for just $27 or 10 pounds for $20. (Go big or go home, I say.)
Call the Y at 342-0889. Get a taste of sunshine, and bring a little light to a program that brings a lot of brightness into children’s lives. It’s worth it.