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Parkersburg YMCA offering educational fun with Club-Ed day camp

Fifth graders in the Parkersburg YMCA Club Ed program do yoga while watching from iPads from the Wood County Board of Education. (Photo Provided)

PARKERSBURG — The YMCA of Parkersburg is filling an educational need for children that was caused by the pandemic.

While summer is a break from school for children, this year is different as schools had to shut down early. The unmet academic need compelled the YMCA of Parkersburg to offer Club-Ed, an educational-based summer day camp for children in Pre-K through 5th grade.

The program was made possible with support from the Wood County Board of Education. Its academic resources and iPads are helping Club-Ed participants.

The camp academically challenges children while encouraging them to be adventurous, active and healthy, offering fun and unique experiences with an opportunity to explore the outdoors, meet new friends, discover new interests and create memories that last a lifetime.

Summer is the ideal time for children to get up, get out and explore, but for some children, summer means no access to recreational and educational activities. As a result, they can experience learning loss and gain weight twice as fast than during the school year.

YMCA Club Ed camp counselors Audra Parker and Dakota Walker. (Photo Provided)

Club-Ed is an opportunity for children to keep their minds and bodies active.

“This past year, COVID-19 has changed how local schools have operated. Thus, it’s more imperative that kids stay engaged socially, physically and academically throughout the summer. Club-Ed: Summer Day Camp is a wonderful way to ensure that,” Jeff Olson, CEO of the YMCA of Parkersburg, said. “In our day camp, kids are in a welcoming environment where they can belong, they’re building relationships, developing character and discovering their potential. We really encourage parents to give their kids the gift of camp to keep them active and academically engaged all summer long.”

Club-Ed offers programs on reading, writing and illustration, S.T.E.M., history, games and sports. Specialty topics include weekly visits from the Book Mobile, safety lessons with the Parkersburg Fire Department, a police dog demonstration by the Parkersburg Police Department, a tae kwon do demonstration by S.H. Kang’s Tae Kwon Do Martial Arts School, interactive paleontology exercises with assistant professor Donald Esker of Marietta College, drug prevention with Westbrook Health Services and a private swimming party at the Parkersburg City Park pool and splash pad.

Additional safety measures are being taken, including daily temperature checks upon arrival, six small groups of 16 kids, hourly hand sanitizing and hand washing before lunches, snacks and after all bathroom breaks and mandatory masks for children and staff when less than six feet apart.

To ensure children have the chance to experience camp, the YMCA of Parkersburg offers financial assistance to those in need. People interested in helping send children to camp this summer can donate by making a check of any amount payable to the YMCA of Parkersburg. Mail checks to 1800 30th St., Parkersburg, WV 26101.

A child in Pre-K reads a book from a Book Mobile at Club Ed. (Photo Provided)

Registration is underway. For more information, go to parkersburgymca.org/summerdaycamp or contact Childcare Director Katie Flinn at (304) 485-5585 ext. 219 or katie.flinn@parkersburgymca.org.

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