07142010swimming.jpgIf you are looking for a powerhouse of an organization that packs a lot of punch for Fayetteville area kids — and their families — check out the YMCA.

Their motto is building strong kids, strong families and strong communities. They are committed to putting Christian principles into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all. Locally, the YMCA has two sites, one on Fort Bragg Road and one on Ellison Street in Hope Mills.

By providing reasonable membership rates that start at $12 a month for youth and go up to $90 per month for a family of four, the YMCA looks to make healthy living affordable.

Swimming lessons are available at the Rae O Hope pool on Hope Mills Road as well as the Fort Bragg Road indoor pool. The Rae O Hope outdoor pool also offers seasonal membership as well.

With school out for the summer, the YMCA is adding day camps to their repertoire. Through Aug.13 preschool discovery camp is offered for children between the ages of three and fi ve who have not yet attended kindergarten. According to the website “The curriculum is an enhanced version of our P.R.E.P. (Preschool Recreation and Education Program) which runs during the regular school year with additional fi eld trips and activities such a swimming and nature hikes.” This camp is offered at the Hope Mills location.

The Summer Blockbuster camp is offered at both locations. It runs from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. There is a new theme every week that includes special guests and field trips. Kids have to be between the ages of five and 12 to attend.

“Summer camp programs go on one fi eld trip at least once a week, they go swimming, and we do arts and crafts,” said Audraw Williams, YMCA site director. “The theme this year is blockbuster. We take little movies and show it to the parents at the end of each week. Basically we pick a movie and we make arts and crafts related to that movie.”

There is a sports program that accommodates kids from three to nine years old. The goal here is to help children learn/ develop basic skills and rules, teamwork and confidence. Leagues offered are basketball, soccer, flag football and baseball.

“We offer cheerleding and gymnastics in September too,” said Williams. “We have a school of dance that is called Angelic Arts. Our swim team is a year-round program that serves ages 5 and up.”

Times are tough all over and nonprofi ts are no exception, but the local YMCA continues to serve the community, and do their best to reach as many people as possible.

“We are a nonprofit and it is all about community,” said Williams. “To make it affordable for everybody to use is one of our missions. We don’t turn anybody away. We try to get everybody into the facility.”

For more information visit www.fayettevilleymca. org or call 323-0800.

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