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Social and Emotional Learning

The YMCA focuses on supporting children through early learning and school-age programs.

At the Y, we thrive to nurture the potential of every child and teen through programs that include; childcare, educational programs, sports, esports, summer day camps, overnight camps, swim programs, teen leadership programs, clubs, and volunteering programs.

We believe that all children and adolescents have the right to grow up in a safe, healthy environment that helps them discover their talents early. The pandemic has impacted the lives of children, not only in the way they communicate but also in the way they learn. For this reason, at the Valley of the Sun YMCA, we strive every day to train our staff to deliver the best to our children. It is essential to develop strong programs that allow our children to grow with the appropriate resources in a better environment post-pandemic.


On Monday, January 17, we invited Larry Kerby to spend the morning at Lincoln Family Downtown YMCA to train our association-wide Youth Development staff on positive supportive behavior. Larry Kerby, MBA is a sought-after entertaining and engaging speaker. He helps parents and teachers to create more joy, peace, and happiness by understanding their role with children. As a trained independent facilitator of the Love and Logic curricula, Larry teaches effective, practical, and proven parenting techniques that both parents and teachers can take away and start using immediately. This emotional learning is imperative when everyone is so isolated.

The trauma and hardship teens are facing today is beyond what previous generations could have imagined. The training focused on creating connections with youth and building their social-emotional learning to create resiliency in a caring environment. “We spent the day talking about how we make genuine connections with our kids and how we help them become really happy successful humans,” states Jenna Cooper, Associate Vice President of Youth Development & Community Initiatives. In addition, she adds “this is really important to me as a mom, my kids participate in this program, and it’s important to me as a Y professional because this is what we stand for.”

For Deontez Wimbley, Director of Teen Programs & Youth and Government, this emotional learning is important for him and his team because it helps them improve the way interact with each other. “In my role, I help to support teen directors, and help them be successful, so this training helps us better have a cohesive and connecting way of knowing how to support each other.”

Visit our website to learn more about which programs will help your child reach their full potential.

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