The Y in Central Maryland
Welcome to our newest Community Leadership Board Members!

citybizlist : Baltimore : The Y in Central Maryland Announces New Board Members
baltimore.citybizlist.com
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Jennifer A. Your ASL job posting requires: " Physical constraints required include the ability to hear the conversational voice, with or without a hearing aid, the ability to see and read newsprint with or without corrective lenses. Ability to speak and be understood under normal circumstances."
The best method of teaching is immersion and frequently native Deaf users are the best teachers. If necessary they can write on the board for clarification. You are requesting second language users over native users. Language is closely linked with culture as well. What you are doing is cultural appropriation and is against ADA: https://nad.org/.../discrimination-and-reasonable... There is no reason you need someone to hear to teach sign language.

Monday Mission Update – The Y in Central Maryland Blog
blog.ymaryland.org
Monday Mission Update:

Though the weather of late might suggest a different story, summer is right around the corner and at the Y that means camp! For thousands of families in our region, the anticipation of summer brings with it the excitement of changed routines, vacations, new opportunities for kids to grow, learn and expand. Still, for thousands more, summer is a looming question mark, or worse. As a parent, I can hardly imagine what it would be like to have my twins idle and alone all summer while my wife and I work. It would be scary and overwhelming to me to not have the proper resources that I'd need to make sure they were safe, happy and productively engaged. Certainly, the thought of "sticking them in front of a TV" all day wouldn’t be a viable option. I’m fortunate that I don’t have to worry about that, but this dilemma is the reality for thousands of families in our region. They need the Y, and they certainly need our donors’ help.
 
Our annual Send a Kid to Camp campaign kicks off this week and it is intended to solve the exact dilemma and inequity for parents and children that I just described.
 
With this in mind, I am so encouraged by the leadership shown by the volunteers, associates and members at the Orokawa Y in Towson  who out got a jump on the campaign this past weekend, raising over $6,000 for our cause!
 
With the leadership of Y associate and superstar Angie Obaza and lots of help and participation from the great Anne Healy and her Community Leadership Board volunteer colleagues, Orokawa Y members and other Y associates, over 50 people took time out of their schedules this past weekend to "Cycle a Kid to Camp!" An average week of Y camp costs $231 and cyclists were asked to ride at least an hour to pay for a day of camp or four hours to sponsor a whole week. Five strong souls even went for a full five hours! Community Leadership Board members also raised extra dollars and secured prizes given away by the hour to motivate and thank our kind-hearted (and hearty) riders!
 
Send a Kid to Camp campaign materials are being sent to Y family centers and program sites this week. We have goals to reach and many kids relying on us to put all our energy, heart and soul into reaching those goals.  I wouldn't let any grass grow under your feet! The Orokawa team already has a Zumba-thon and Kids Try-athlon (with emphasis on TRY!) already planned.
 
Our ads accurately call Y summer camp "The Best Summer Ever." Let's make that a reality for all the kids in our community who need us.
 
If you have any questions or great ideas about Send a Kid to Camp, please contact Lindsay Crone, our resident SKC mastermind, at lindsaycrone@ymaryland.org.
 
All the best,
John
Monday Mission Update:

Two and a half weeks ago, on St. Patrick’s Day, I joined a group of Y volunteers and associates on a Mission in Action tour, one of our quarterly explorations of various aspects of our mission. This tour visited the Weinberg Y in Waverly, our preschool there and the nearby Baltimore IT Academy, one of 10 Y Community Schools and, in this case, one that also offers a Y after school enrichment program.

It was a memorable outing for all of us in attendance.

Take the tour with us:

Tour stop one: The Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Y in Waverly

After introductions of all the participants, the Y’s Executive Director of Volunteerism and Civic Engagement (and former head of operations for the Weinberg and Druid Hill Ys) provided an overview and some of the history of this Y, which opened in 2004.  Built on the hallowed grounds of the former Memorial Stadium, Eric explained that the Weinberg Y now serves over 10,000 people in this wonderfully diverse community with a wide range of programming.

Tour stop two: The Weinberg Y Preschool

Guests were warmly welcomed by Director Jennifer Woodard, who informed us that the Weinberg Y Preschool recently received full accreditation through NECPA (National Early Childhood Program Association). NECPA is an accreditation program dedicated to encouraging quality and recognizing excellence in early childhood programs throughout the United States and other countries.

Jennifer also proudly noted that in 2014 and 2015 the Weinberg Preschool was recognized by a Maryland Family Reader's Choice Award for "Best Preschool in Baltimore City."

Knowing the outstanding work that our preschool team does there and throughout the region (with consistently high school readiness outcomes), I am not in the least bit surprised that both parent and industry experts alike recognize the wonderful work being done there.
 
When you consider that 30% of the kids currently attending our preschools come from families at the bottom of the economic scale and can only attend due to the generous support of our funders and donors (with more kids on the wait list for assistance), it is even more amazing to contemplate the depth of our impact.
 
During our visit, the kids were at tables working on crafts: spring flowers, St. Patty's day worksheets and collages, and were eager to share their creations!  There were great interactions with guests, lots of laughing and “oohing and ahhing.”

As we were leaving one tour participant said “I wish I had a preschool like this when I was growing up. I wish all kids did.”

Me too.

Tour stop three: Baltimore IT Academy Middle School: A Y Community School and After School Enrichment Site

After a short bus ride, courtesy of volunteer driver Frank Holden, we were welcomed by our excellent partner, Principal Sandy Mason and the Y’s Community School Director, Devonne Franklin.

Devonne was her usual amazing self. Guests could feel her enthusiasm and passion for her work and responded to it in kind.  She touched our hearts and stimulated our thinking.

We learned that community schools, funded by the Family League of Baltimore and Baltimore City Schools, support the facilitation of a set of partnerships between the school and other community resources.  As I mentioned, the Y is the lead agency in 10 Community Schools in Baltimore where a full time Y associate is placed in the school to work with the principal to coalesce student and family support resources that focus on academic support, youth development, family support, health and social services and community development.

At Baltimore IT Academy, we are also the after school enrichment provider, an arrangement which enables a holistic approach to student support.

Our after school enrichment program focuses on academic intervention (helping kids catch up), reducing truancy and improving attendance and easing the difficult transition kids  often have when they move from elementary school to middle school.

We saw a room dedicated to Yoga to help kids ease anxieties. Devonne pointed out how the school is also a resource for families. There is a special classroom for parents/caregivers to go to for support, resources and internet access. 

We visited the school's food pantry, part of our Community School initiative which is run and staffed entirely by adult and student volunteers. The food pantry serves over 100 neighborhood families each year. We saw students and adults unpacking boxes of donations and containers full of green beans, cereal and other sundries.  It was an affirming experience just to see it all in action.

Several of our guests commented on how impressed they were by all they saw and heard; how they had developed a new level of awareness and understanding of the Y as a charitable organization; how they hadn’t realized the scope of our work with youth in the community; the large scale, meaningful impact the Y is having on the lives of at-risk kids and families; how the tour opened their eyes. 

What an amazing experience all around! Even for me, nearly ten years into this journey, I am repeatedly humbled and impressed by the outstanding work our Y associates do every single day in so many ways and places, seen and unseen, which enrich and improve lives.

 Thank you!

Postscript: The tour so impressed Y associate Nicol Clark from the Greater Annapolis Y that she has organized her Y colleagues to spend some time volunteering with students at Baltimore IT! Those who wish to volunteer at any of myriad Y programs should contact Eric Somervile at ericsomerville@ymaryland.org.

 If you are interested in attending the July 13th Mission in Action tour (which starts at the Druid Hill Y and is from 8:30 to 10:30 am), please contact Leslie Tinati at leslietinati@ymaryland.org.

 All the best,
John

John K. Hoey
President & CEO
Monday Mission Update: 

Some small (and hopefully final) flurries of snow were no match for the hundreds of families who flooded our Family Center Ys this past weekend to celebrate Easter and the coming of spring! Activities took a decidedly bunny and egg related theme, including pin the tail on the bunny, bunny sack races, egg on a spoon relays, bunny photo op, live bunny petting areas, bunny hop races, jumbo Easter egg volleyball, giant Easter egg hunts with hundreds of eggs (some in the pool!) and of course, a visit from the big bunny himself!

As a guy who grew up in Upstate New York, I can remember many Easter egg hunts in heavy jackets and piles of snow, so I had to smile when I saw some of the pictures from this weekend's events.  At least the kids didn’t have to navigate a few feet of snow.  That introduces a whole new dimension to the proceedings!

Whether you celebrate Easter, Passover, another religious holiday, or simply the coming of warmer weather, I think we can all take joy in the smile on children’s faces and the promise of Spring.

All the best,
John

John K. Hoey
President & CEO
The Y in Central Maryland
"I just have to take the time to say thanks to you and the Y staff. As a parent I have never seen a more dedicated, better trained and overall great staff. Every morning I'm greeted by the smiling faces of Ms. Boldin and Ms. Harriston.  Then when I head to the classroom we have Ms. Chin and Ms. Lawrence engaging the children, making them feel welcome, not to mention the major improvements my son has accomplished so far this year. Then when I pick up my godchild from Elgin in the evening, Ms. Hamilton and Mr. Evans are amazing in making sure she is ready and giving me an update to her day. I have never seen such an organized and well maintained staff. Please keep up this amazing job. I'm so thankful to be a parent of the Y Head Start student. "

That was an email recently sent to our Y Head Start team in Baltimore City from Stephinol Lewis.  It was entitled "Outstanding Job!!”

With a child and stepchild in two of our 18 Head Start preschool sites in Baltimore City, Ms. Lewis is in the unique position to know our program doubly well, so her comments hold a lot of weight and can be considered a highly informed compliment to the talented teams of Y early childhood professionals to whom she refers. Ms. Lewis' observations reinforce and validate something we've long known: that our work in the early childhood field, both in the Head Start and traditional Preschools we run across the region, has been and continues to be a shining star and unparalleled resource for young children and their families throughout Central Maryland.  With school readiness scores that consistently outpace state averages, backed by consistently outstanding audit and Net Promoter scores, it's no wonder that an engaged parent like Ms. Lewis sees and appreciates the incredible high quality program and strong early start her children are experiencing.

Hats off to Roikensha Craig, the very talented Executive Director of Y Head Start in Baltimore City, and to the dedicated team of Y Family Advocates and Teachers referred to in Ms. Lewis' letter. Their outstanding professionalism and leadership contributes to the success of hundreds of young children year after year.  I can hardly imagine any greater accomplishment for educators or satisfaction for a parent.

All the best,

John K. Hoey
CEO & President
The Y in Central Maryland

P.S. In case you missed it, this story was featured on CBS's Sunday Morning program.  It's about a program called Urban Warriors, a youth violence prevention initiative developed and run by the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago.  Hats off to their CEO and my friend, Dick Malone, whose organization has stepped forward to work vigilantly to make a difference in a great city beset with escalating violence. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/urban-warriors-stemming-the-tide-of-street-violence/
Monday Mission Update

Some words of wisdom on a Monday morning:

    No cussing in the house
    It's important to make good choices
    Tell the mice to get out of your house

These are not my insights, but rather the sage advice shared by several 3 and 4 year old students to Baltimore’s Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake during her recent visit to the Y Elgin Head Start Center in West Baltimore! I want to thank the Mayor for participating as one of dozens of Y volunteers and associates across Central Maryland who stopped into one of our 33 early childhood sites (both Head Start and Preschools) to read to Y kids last week. This was all part of the Read Across America initiative, a nationwide reading celebration that takes place annually in March in honor of the one and only, Dr. Seuss, on the occasion of his birthday! 

Here's what Y Community Leadership Board member Regina Salliey had to say about her experience:

"What a rewarding experience it was reading to the Green Turtles classroom, during Read Across America week! We read Dr. Seuss' book, Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? The preschoolers were very engaged and enjoyed repeating the fun sounds from the book. They were so funny and cute!

It was a pleasure returning to the Weinberg Y preschool, where my son had his first educational experience, and be able to give back. To know that a 15 minute investment in the promotion of reading could have a lifetime impact on a child made it more than worth it!"

Regina works at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, an important Y funder and partner dedicated to the well-being and success of children. Her comment about the value of an investment in the education of young children, the very thing that the wise and oh so clever Dr. Theodor Seuss Geisel dedicated his amazing life to, is exactly on point. It's the reason we commit such significant resources to our entire early childhood program and it's the reason we are so proud to report that last year over 86% of Y Head Start and Preschool children transitioning to Kindergarten assessed as proficient in domains related to school readiness.

Now that, Mr. Cat, is an impressive stat!

All the best,

John

​John K. Hoey
President & CEO
The Y in Central Maryland
Monday Mission Update:

Rose Linder, a Parkville Y member, recently took the time to post this comment on our website:

I would just like to say, I am a regular 5:30 a.m. person and you have the most awesome, most friendly and accommodating staff at the front desks during the early a.m.! Thank each of them! They are all super!

Clearly the team of associates at the Parkville Y takes to heart the philosophy of service as expressed by the author Richelle Goodrich: “Service is a smile.  It is an acknowledging wave, a reaching handshake, a friendly wink, and a warm hug.   It's these simple acts that matter most, because the greatest service to a human soul has always been the kindness of recognition.”

I could not agree more with this statement and I suspect you concur because this is the level of service and culture we strive for at all Y Centers and sites across the region. If you think about your own reactions to both good and bad customer service in your daily experiences, you know exactly what I mean.  Particularly when handling problems, which are as inevitable as the passing of the days, basic friendliness and a can-do attitude of the person you interact with will forever shape your view of the quality of that organization.

At the Y, our core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility drive our way of doing things.  Y people are inherently caring and are generally drawn to our work because they want to do something that matters and have a tangible impact on others. If you ever doubt that you are doing important work that changes lives in little and big ways, remember Rose Linder's words and how her day is brightened each morning by "the kindness of recognition."

All the best,

John

John K. Hoey
President & CEO
The Y in Central Maryland
Monday Mission Update:

While I must admit that in this age of commercialism where it seems like every historical event has a retail promotion and fancy greeting card connected to it, it can be easy to lose sight of the significance of what is actually being celebrated (and on that note, a belated Happy Valentine’s Day one and all!). It is very much worth noting, however, that February is Black History Month. Perhaps now more than at any time in many decades, we are again reminded that without vigilance and sober eyes wide open to the past, we risk not only losing rich and important memories but also hard lessons. History is clearly open to interpretation, but it is inarguably true that understanding our history is the primary building block to understanding our present times or the possibilities of the future.

This is why I am so delighted that our Weinberg Y members volunteering in our Togetherhood® program (Y member-led volunteerism) chose to actively celebrate Black History Month by planning a four-part series of events in which their community service project is providing access to Black History Month events.

The series included a screening of the terrific (and important) film Selma, followed by a facilitated discussion about civil rights among older adults who viewed the screening. That was followed by a trip last Wednesday for Y youth to the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum where they participated in the program “Youth As Freedom Fighters - Youth on the Front Lines Of Battle.”  Guest panelists discussed youth who have been leaders in the struggle for civil rights. The program also included a screening of the PBS program, "American Experience: Freedom Summer.” 

According to a participant in the program, "the event felt very timely and it was great to have the film framed within a discussion of current events in Baltimore and the upcoming elections. With so much discussion, planning and action around addressing inequities in Baltimore City, engaging with recent history seems imperative in taking significant steps towards true change. The discussion between the panelists and the audience members highlighted the desire for these community building events and the positive impact they have on bringing people together across neighborhoods."

In addition to the great panelists, Jan Nave, who was featured in the film, was also in attendance.  Ms. Nave, who was selected as Miss Mississippi in 1963, and her family hosted two civil rights workers at their home that summer, and were then subjected to a campaign of terrorism that forced them to move to Jackson, MS and later to Washington, D.C.  Needless to say, her presence was powerful and brought to life what may seem like abstract and distant history to some.

The second half of the month will include a screening and discussion of the 2007 movie Pride (about an all-black swim team in Philadelphia) and a trip to the Reginald F. Lewis Museum.

All events are FREE. I encourage all Y associates and volunteers to consider participating in any of the remaining events outlined in the attached flier.

Many thanks to Eric Somerville for helping to make this inspired and important program happen.

All the best,

John

P.S. Speaking of films that illuminate our history, check out the just released Race, a film about the great Jesse Owens, the American hero of the 1936 Olympic games in Berlin.

John K. Hoey
President & CEO
The Y in Central Maryland
Monday Mission Update:

While Sunday evening was dedicated to a quite underwhelming Super Bowl (in my view) and the outsized brawn associated with football, this past Saturday all the action revolved around impressive young brains at work in the First Lego League qualifying event we held at Baltimore IT Academy in Baltimore City, one of our ten Community School sites. With more than 200 Y kids and families (including students from several Y school programs) and 35 Y volunteers in attendance, 18 teams of Baltimore City and County students ages 9 to 14 got a chance to show off their robot building skills.  Awards were handed out for demonstration of core values, robot design and the quality of presentations.

As part of our strategy to help to close the achievement gap, we have long been committed to teaching and reinforcing and vital 21st century skills learned through First Lego League programming, providing kids hands on experience applying the science, technology and math concepts needed to design, build and program a functional robot. Of course, the "soft skills" of building self-confidence, learning to think creatively and operate as a cooperative team are also very much at play and form another core focus of our Youth Development programming, essential for success in school and life.

Oh, and did I mention it’s an awful lot of fun? Take a look!

Many thanks to all those who made this happen, including our wonderful volunteers from AmeriCorps, Towsontowne Rotary and the U.S. Naval Academy, who served as judges, referees and set up/break down crew.  A big shout out also goes to Y associates O'bette Jamison and Eric Somerville, who were tireless in their efforts to ensure a successful experience for all.

We are proud of this entire endeavor, including the five teams who earned the opportunity to proceed to the statewide competition.

Well done, team Y!

All the best,

John

John K. Hoey
President & CEO
The Y in Central Maryland
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