Hunter Bailey has been involved in the Jersey Shore branch YMCA since he was a toddler in the child care program and, most recently, as an adolescent participant in the Brick House after-school program.
Hunter has been fighting a battle with his weight. He and his mother have met with a pediatrician and a nutritionist at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville to come up with a plan to help Hunter gain control of his weight. He has been attending regular check-ups, where he is weighed and discusses his current diet and his activity level with a specialist.
Hunter was very excited to return to the Brick House program last year. He comes to the Y every day after school and participates in fun games and group activities with friends.
According to child care Director Corinne Amrom, the Brick House offers a variety of activities, including open gym, snack, social interaction and the opportunity to work on homework.
Hunter even has initiated activities when there is a break in the action. His favorite thing to do is play basketball. In fact, he was very anxious for the Y's winter youth basketball league to begin so he could put his practice during the Brick House program to use.
Hunter is able to stay active and work on his weight management plan by attending the Brick House every day during the school year.
"With open access to the gym, including basketball and football, along with interaction with our skilled staff, kids like Hunter are able to have fun while staying fit," Amrom said.
The program provides Hunter with the opportunity to get involved in fun physical activities and reach his goals. Without Brick House, he would be limited in the level of activity he is able to perform. Hunter and his mother are very pleased in the way the program and the Y have kept him active and helped him to overcome his struggle with managing his weight. He takes part in about two hours of physical activity every day.
The Jersey Shore branch YMCA is able to offer a program like Brick House due to the generosity of Lycoming County United Way. Hunter is just one of the many youth members of the Jersey Shore community who has experienced the positive impacts the program offers.
"Attendance at Brick House is open to any student who registers in sixth grade and up," Amrom said. "It is held Monday through Friday from after school to 6 p.m. Attendance depends on the weather and school activities, but this fall we have seen an average of 30 to 40 kids, though more are expected when fall sports end and the construction of the new teen room here at the Y is complete.
Brick House, she added, is looking forward to opening the new addition. With the addition of the room, participants will have access to quiet homework assistance, the gym and a lounge area with games.
In addition, the Jersey Shore YMCA will co-host the Children's Community Fall Festival Halloween Party for children up to age 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 30. Door prizes and costume judging will be held, as well as games and activities.
The Brick House is proud to partner with Lycoming County United Way and provide an encouraging, enjoyable outlet for the youth of the area. LCUW Executive Director Scott N. Lowery said the feeling is mutual.
"Some of the programs receiving United Way funding are self-explanatory just by their name," Lowery said. "But the Jersey Shore YMCA Brick House program has nothing to do with an external structure, rather it is most important for what goes on in the inside of that building every day.
"The Brick House program truly serves as a community center for the young people of Jersey Shore. They have a proven track record of preparing youth and teens for success in life through activities that build self-esteem and life skills. They've endured some difficulties but everything they do is done to help the young people of the Jersey Shore area to grow, learn and feel better about themselves."
It is unfortunate, he added, that in way too many instances society seems to be trying to fix things after something happens rather than taking effective measures to prevent things from happening.
"The Brick House programs are extending their efforts to the latter to serve their community," Lowery said. "Several hundred kids continue to benefit from taking part in the various Brick House programs. Helping young people stay on the right track of life is an important investment for our United Way to make."
Consider giving to Lycoming County United Way campaign this year. The affects of your donation reach neighbors in your community like Hunter, who has found great value in the programs provided by the Jersey Shore YMCA Brick House.
For more information, visit www.lcuw.org.