Read Across America with Dr. Seuss

Students nationwide will pick up a book to celebrate Dr. Seuss today, March 2, National Education Association’s 18th annual Read Across America Day celebration of reading and Dr. Seuss’s birthday. NEA, in partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, created NEA’s Read Across America Day in 1997 to promote the joy and importance of reading and to celebrate the birthday of beloved author Dr. Seuss. NEA’s Read Across America has grown into a year-round literacy program engaging more than 50 national partners and millions of children, teens, and adults.

Take part in this exciting celebration! Here are some ideas:

1. Take the Reader’s Oath

2. Visit your local library and read one of Dr. Seuss’ books

3. Make reading fun at home! Find great ideas on our Pinterest!

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Art Impact

The Arts leave a lasting mark on youth, inspiring self-expression, self-esteem, and critical and creative thinking. According to research by the John F. Kennedy Center, youth who regularly participate in arts programs tend to display more intellectual curiosity, experience higher levels of excitement from their school work, and apply more effort during their attempts to complete school projects and assignments. Parents of these youth noticed their children taking more risks, solving problems with ease, and respecting other people’s ideas and opinions. Students in the Kennedy Center’s Arts in Education Research Study were more confident, intellectually curious, and positively challenged citizens who may be better equipped to generate original ideas to improve their communities and contribute to a creative global economy.

To help nurture the potential of our youth, the Y offers a Y-Arts programs to help improve creative and tactical skills, learn to socialize and build relationships. The Y-Arts program can make all the difference for some children, keeping young minds creating and discovering.

Community member and parent to a former Y-Arts student, Rosanna Salcedo tells us “the Y-Arts program gave my child the freedom to express his creativity, and encouraged him to explore new forms of artistic expression, in a supportive environment. Thanks to Y-Arts, he has experience using a variety of materials and techniques.”

Learn more about Y-Arts! Registration is open for the next Y-Arts Session. Classes meet once a week from 4-5 pm for 6 weeks at the YMCA in Exeter, 30 Linden St. Each class costs $85 for 6 weeks. All classes are taught by local Exeter artist, Marissa Vitolo.

Y-Arts Session 2: Tuesday, March 10th – Thursday, April 16th

Tuesdays: Painting and Drawing

Thursdays: Hand building (clay)

Register today!

Fun and Friends at Family Camp

Each fall, Camp Lincoln opens it’s doors, cabins, and activity areas to families for a long weekend. We call it Family Camp, and it is exactly as it sounds. Children, parents, grandparents and friends settle into lakeside cabins, unroll their sleeping bags onto wooden-framed bunk beds, pull on their wool socks and hats (or bathing suits!) and enjoy and challenge themselves at camp activities. From kayaking to hiking, pumpkin carving to campfires, families enjoy a relaxing and fun weekend at camp!

Thank you to the ten families who joined us for a beautiful weekend at camp! Family Camp 2014 was a great success. We look forward to seeing all of you again next fall.

Does this sound like your cup of tea? Learn more about Family Camp at Camp Lincoln, and join us in 2015!

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FUN With Your Family

August is Family Fun Month! There are only a few weeks left before school starts. Here are some fun and creative ideas to have fun with your family. How many can you complete this month?

1. Visit a local park: Go for a walk, toss a frisbee, pack a lunch, and don’t forget your picnic blanket!

2. Host a dance party: Turn your living room into a party zone by dressing up in funky clothes, dimming the lights, and turning on your favorite dance music. Disco ball is optional!

3. Beach outing: We are lucky to live in an area close to the beach, take full advantage while there is still a little bit of warmth! Take your kids out to the beach and let them boogie board while you soak up some sun and relax.

4. Book Night! You don’t always have to leave the house to have fun. Take a trip to the local library and check out some books so you can huddle up with your family and read. You might want to include a longer novel where everyone can read a chapter or two.

5. Scavenger hunt: Give your kids a list of things that they will need to find around the house or in your neighborhood. Have some prizes ready for the person who finds all items on the list!

6. Backyard movie night: Why not watch a movie in your own makeshift movie theater? Play your family’s favorite movie using a projector and a blank wall. Make sure to pop some popcorn!

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Friendship Day

Today is Friendship Day! We think about friendship daily at the YMCA as we watch children and staff creating bonds, learning together, and building community.

Considering the valuable role friends play in our life it was deemed fit to have a day dedicated to friends and friendship. The United States Congress, in 1935, proclaimed the first Sunday of August as International Friendship Day. Since then, celebration of Friendship Day became an annual event. The idea of honoring the beauty of friendships caught on with people worldwide and Friendship Day has become a hugely popular festival in many countries.

In 1997, the United Nations named Winnie the Pooh as the world’s Ambassador of Friendship.

How will you celebrate Friendship Day?

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Every Duck Makes A Difference

Thank you to everyone who purchased a duck as part of the Every Duck Makes A Difference fundraiser on July 12! We raised more than $1,200, all of which will go towards scholarships for local children to attend year-round YMCA programs such as School Age Child Care or summer camp at YMCA Camp Lincoln.

The winning ducks were:
First place- 222, Second place- 261, Third place- 197, Fourth place- 259, Fifth place- 69

Congratulations to our Rubber Duck Race winners!

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Health Benefits of Winter Activity

We know that February can be a hard month to get out of the house, exposing your family to the cold and snowy weather. Staying active throughout the winter is important for your health and happiness. Here are some creative ideas for your family to enjoy the fresh powdery snow! Have fun!

Ice Skating This activity can be slippery for newcomers, but is easy to get the hang of, and certainly worth the learning! Check out your local ice rink for public skating opportunities. The Rinks at Exeter offers public skate and skate rentals for only $10. Make sure to bring your own helmet (a bike helmet will do), and a buddy for balance and laughs!

Building with Snow Pull on your snowsuits and strap on the boots for this accessible and fun activity! You can build a snowman in your yard; it’s as easy as rolling a few snowballs into snowman body parts, and then decorating with sticks, fruit or vegetables. Kids of all activities can enjoy this activity! Already have a snow family in your yard? Try building a snow igloo!

Snowshoeing People who love walking or hiking will enjoy this activity! Your kids will have fun pretending to be big foot, crunching down into the snow with their big snowshoes. This is a great way to get cardiovascular exercise outdoors in the winter. Most outdoor gear retailers will sell snowshoes and poles (poles are optional). Maybe your neighbor has some snowshoeing gear that you could borrow for an afternoon?

Sledding A winter activity that never grows old, no matter your age! Grab a sled, saucer or toboggan and find a hill to glide down. Make sure to bundle in warm clothes for this activity; you’ll have so much fun that you want to stay outside for a long time! The ride down is super fun, and you get a nice workout climbing to the top of the hill. Not to mention the added health bonus of laughing!

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