Health Ministry supports YMCA afterschool program

Health Ministry volunteer Stewart Watt demonstrates a science experiment to students as fellow employee Christina Ross looks on.

The Ministry of Health focused on giving back to the children of the Cayman Islands at the start of the new year by assisting in the YMCA Extended After-School Program.

Ministry staff spent an afternoon and early evening at Bodden Town Primary School working with the 75 children who take part in the different activities that the program offers.

Their aim was to support and help raise awareness for the program, assist students with homework and participate in a range of activities that included STEM, literacy and KidFit.

“It was a chance to give back, as we know that the YMCA is always happy to have volunteers,” said Jennifer Ahearn, chief officer in the Ministry of Health.

YMCA spokesperson Gillian Smith said that after-school program has some 40 volunteers and community partners across the islands. She said those interested in volunteering should know that there is a program site in each district and units are eager to recruit more volunteers.

“It’s so great to see the Ministry of Health directly supporting this important work in the community. When everyone does a little it really accomplishes a lot, and means a great deal to the kids in our community,” Ms. Smith said.

The extended program provides after-school programming for approximately 1,300 participants at nine sites that serve 15 government primary and high schools on Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac.

At the primary school level, the Extended After-School Program  consists of five core components: literacy, STEM, creative arts, KidFit, and speciality clubs, such as swimming, judo and dance.

The high school program focuses on leadership development, vocation and academic support.

More than 30 clubs are available to high school students, including automotive, dance, karate, cooking, sewing and drama.

To assist with the delivery of the program, the initiative employs over 100 youth leaders and coordinators, including 10 at Bodden Town Primary.

To learn more about volunteering with the YMCA, visit www.ymcacayman.ky/volunteering-with-the-y, email [email protected] or call 926-YMCA.

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