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Letter: Waynesboro YMCA exceeding childcare expectations

Letter: Waynesboro YMCA exceeding childcare expectations

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I wanted to express my gratitude for the incredible job that I believe childcare director Rebecca Patton and the YMCA staff are doing in such difficult times. I have been impressed with a number of things since we started taking my daughters (7 years old and 4 years old) back to the Y for their C4 program (Creative Collaborative Coalition for Childcare). My husband, Reed, and I were under tremendous stress to perform at work and balancing all of it was taking a toll on our kids development and emotional well-being. It was a difficult decision given the health risks, but I will say that I’ve been so impressed with the level of vigilance, care and consistency in positive attitude that I’ve seen from the YMCA childcare staff. Our kids are thriving – thanks to them.

Ms. Lauren has been supporting my oldest with her online learning (2nd grade). She has some emotional challenges and additional support is necessary. Lauren takes her job extremely seriously. When she has her "big feelings," Lauren talks her through it, encourages her to take breaks and take walks. These are coping skills any child needs for success in managing stress. Recently, Lauren creatively devised a plan to cover up the timing feature of one her math programs with a sticky note (timing is a big trigger for big feelings). Her creativity helped my daughter overcome her feelings of being discouraged. The other day, my daughter said that she actually liked this math program now – and she was doing it at home on her free time. I wish I could be a fly on the wall to watch Lauren in action – I’d imagine it’s awesome. Sure, there might be a missed assignment here or there, but it’s minimal and Lauren is always very apologetic and responsive. The way I see it, though, it’s my responsibility to follow up and follow through. And I believe that the teachers' responsibility to be realistic and flexible with their expectations. It’s a team effort and we're all doing the very best we can. Lauren is meeting and exceeding all of my expectations.

Ms. Glenna and Ms. Tiffany are caring, creative and kind. My youngest noticeably improved these last few months with her handwriting and writing her numbers. She colors in the lines and while that may seem like a little thing, she takes great pride in it. At times, usually on Mondays, my youngest has trouble wanting to go to school because of missing her family. I appreciate so much that if she is having a tearful goodbye at drop off Ms. Glenna gives her time and space for TLC. Also, my youngest has allergies to peanuts and eggs that requires an epi-pen. Ms. Glenna and staff are not only careful but also inclusive to choose snacks and treats that she can partake in. This makes my heart full because no parent wants their child to be left out. She goes above and beyond in this area.

I’m so proud of my decision to have my kids attend the Y. COVID is crazy and they all have stepped up in a big way! They are providing a much needed resource to this community. They’re carrying a heavy load juggling different teachers, schools, grades and do it with grace, compassion, and resilience. They model it well for the kids, and they model it well for me.

Misty Graves 

Waynesboro

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