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YMCA starts summer hours Monday

The Claude C. Brown YMCA will not officially open with summer hours until Monday, but Director Yasmin McKinney couldn’t wait until then.

McKinney and the summer camp staff members opened the YMCA Friday for a Healthy Family day, promoting healthy eating, exercise and the new family nutrition education class that will be offered June through August.

“Today’s mainly focused on getting the kids and families in this community on a health kick with the program that we will be kicking off starting next week,” McKinney said.

The Healthy Families Begin at Home: YMCA Activate America program is designed to educate families so they can make healthier decisions and lead healthier lives at home.

Students from the Walker-Johnson and Brown YMCAs spent the morning learning about health and fitness, playing basketball and group games like beanbag toss and jumping rope.

“We’ve been talking about health and exercising,” student Jayla Smith said. We talked about how health will help our body and help bring down our cholesterol and blood pressure.”

Student Tacari Hooks likes visiting the YMCA during the summer and spending time with friends at the camps.

“I love summer camp because I have so much fun,” Tacari said.

Summer camp counselor Delanda Watts is already enjoying working with the students.

“So far, it’s been fun,” Watts said. “This is good for them because they’re out of school and they need something to do.”

The YMCA staff plans to provide nutritional meals to children in need, set up fruit and vegetable stands once a month and provide nutrition workshops once a month, among other goals.

Classes will last 12 weeks for the 50 enrolled families. No more spots are available for this summer.

PepsiCo. Inc. donated a $10,000 grant to this program and the Brown YMCA through the local Pepsi Bottling Co. location and a Pepsi Refresh grant.

Pepsi has a long-standing partnership with the YMCA nationally, as well as locally, so the company chose to award the YMCA with the grant. The Pepsi Refresh grants are awarded to chosen organizations that work to better their communities.

The Brown YMCA will open for its summer hours starting Monday from10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and the pool will be open from noon until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Admission for the pool is $2 for children and $3 for adults.

Summer hours will end Aug. 7.