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Greater Birmingham YMCA working on new social and emotional curriculum after pandemic

Published: May. 7, 2022 at 10:35 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - With the end of the school year right around the corner, many parents are starting to look into child camps and activities for the summer break.

The YMCA of Greater Birmingham is gearing up for a busy and full summer of campers, but organizers said they plan to work on behavior skills, math, and reading because of the COVID slide.

“Their children just need that socialization,” Youth Development Director Rhonda Elmore said. “We have definitely seen some new challenges that some of our campers are facing. I think a lot of parents are putting their kids into programs so they can have that exposure and just that socialization with their peers.”

Youth Development Director Rhonda Elmore said throughout the school year, they’ve been working on new social and emotional curriculum and they’ll be using it this summer.

“We are putting programs in place on how to manage emotions and conflict resolution,” Elmore said. “So, we have a whole social and emotional learning curriculum. They are getting those tools that they learning through the school year, but they are doing it in a fun way.”

Elmore said many campers are experiencing the COVID slide with learning, and with new math and reading requirements being enforced by the state, she wants to make sure students stay prepared in the summer.

“Our scholars spend three hours a morning in academic with a certified teacher and they are focusing on math and literacy, but it’s offered in a camp feel so it doesn’t look or feel like school,” she said. “It’s fun and engaging in a camp-like environment, but it is giving that academic reinforcement and enrichment in math and reading.”

Elmore said their camps are filling up quickly, so it is time to sign up if you haven’t yet.

Some YMCA locations are still accepting summer campers, but there are many other camps in the area with openings still. Click here for a list.

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