This past week was teacher appreciation week and also a time when community service and volunteerism at the Y was jumping with energy! Perhaps it’s no coincidence that all this activity seemed to lead up to Mother’s Day because, if ever there were a symbol of selflessness and focus on the well-being of kids, it would be moms!
With that in mind, here is a Y tribute to mothers starting with a bow to our more than 700 associates who work with preschool and school age children, teens and young adults. We are deeply appreciative of their dedication, commitment and contribution to our mission.
Teachers are real life superheroes. They educate, innovate, encourage and support. Every day they touch the lives of numerous children and parents. Their work and impact extends far beyond the boundaries of the classroom and I am proud that Y associates play such a meaningful role in the healthy development of our young people.
With Eric Somerville, our Executive Director of Volunteerism and Community Engagement, firmly at the helm, community service at the Y is bursting with so much activity it’s hard to keep up, but like those energetic multi-tasking moms we honor, we will try!
First, we want to thank our friends at BGE, including Y board member David Vahos, who deployed three volunteer teams to transform spaces used by youth and families.
Here are is a quick recap:
- Project #1 – Y in Catonsville/Camp reading nook – volunteers created four planters for dozens of plants that created a cozy reading nook for endless hours of summer reading.
- Project #2 – Orokawa Y in Towson/Pavilion painting – volunteers painted 15 tables and two sets of walkways to the pavilion, just in time for camp and other family activities.
- Project #3 – Y in Druid Hill/Community park clean-up – volunteers were joined by more than 25 youth from the community, as well as leaders of Baltimore Masjid (a local mosque) to clean the community park, trimming overgrown limbs, raking leaves, removing trash and pulling weeds, giving the park a much needed face lift.
Here is a link to pictures of the day – BGE Service Projects.
At the same time, we also want to thank our friends at AmeriCorps. They partnered with our associates at the Weinberg Y in Waverly, helping to facilitate about 30 volunteers from the Waverly community who participated in Project Clean Stream, removing trash from the neighborhood and providing spring cleaning at Chestnut Hill Park in the Ednor Gardens/Penn Lucy community.
While all this was going on, about 20 4th graders from our Moravia Park Elementary School program participated in National Park Week at Ft. McHenry! Students learned about their city’s cultural and natural history by visiting Fort McHenry and the Star-Spangled Banner and Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trails. Other activities included: learning how to pitch a tent, exploring the historic Star Fort, and hands on learning with the American Flag. Follow this link to read reporter Mike Schuh’s experience with youth from Moravia.
- Here is a link to pictures we took Ft.McHenry pics
I want to extend my many thanks to the many wonderful Y volunteers and associates who facilitate outstanding experiences for our youth and our community. These experiences are instrumental to building the kind of assets that all young people need for success in school and life.
And, of course, a Happy Mother’s Day to all of the great moms out there!
All the best,
John K. Hoey
President & CEO
The Y in Central Maryland