Englewood YMCA to offer free VPK

Linda Ware is looking to expand South County Family YMCA educational programs to include voluntary prekindergarten at the Englewood facility.

“We’re going to operate the same as the middle school Sky Academy with two physical education periods per day,” Ware said. “The paperwork to be filed has been the most difficult step in getting this started. We had to go through licensing and accreditation.”

Ware, coordinator of educational services, is going to be one of two teachers and three volunteers to operate the VPK at the Englewood Y starting in the fall.

One thing the YMCA VPK program will have that will be different than other VPK programs is the balance between the physical and educational curriculum, said Mischa Kirby, director of communications at the South County Family YMCA.

The program will run from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday through Thursday starting on Sept. 3.

The curriculum begins with one structured P.E. course at the beginning of the day followed by academics then lunch. The day resumes with academics before finishing the school day with an elective P.E. course.

“We’ll have alternating and rotate activities for P.E.,” Ware said. “We’ll have swimming, gymnastics, soccer, basketball, rock climbing, yoga, tee ball and hockey.”

Ware said the program will be capped at 20 students.

“I have five students signed up so far,” she said. “When it comes to academics, we plan to operate at a 4-to-1 (student to teacher) ratio.”

To register, Ware said, students must be at least 4 years old by no later than Sept. 1. Spanish speakers will be accommodated. The Englewood Y is located at 701 Medical Blvd., Englewood.

For more information, visit http://www.swflymca.org/news/2013/07/08/englewood-news/free-vpk-starts-at-the-englewood-y-on-september-3/   or call 941-716-3441.


About Tom

Tom Chang is a freelance journalist with a background in multimedia journalism and web publishing. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Journalism and Media Studies from the University of South Florida St.Petersburg. He graduated in 2004 with a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communications at USF Tampa. Tom's interests include a little bit of everything from entertainment to sports. He also wishes to delve into creative writing writing sci-fi/fantasy stories. Tom was recently the Online Editor for USF St. Petersburg's the Crow's Nest, he joined the staff in January 2010 where he started freelance writing, photographing, copy editing and later became a staff writer. Tom’s freelance experience in journalism amassed a wide range of companies including Creative Loafing, The Focus Magazine, Lutz News, Examiner.com, and Tampa Tribune.
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