In partnership with the Ministry of Education, the YMCA offered programmes for government school students across six sites island-wide, including Cayman Brac, during the extended Christmas holiday break. The programme was funded by the Ministry and offered free of charge to both primary and high school students. Up to 245 students between the ages of 5 and 17 attended each day over the two-week period (4-8 and 11-15 January).
Craig Robinson, YMCA After-School Programme Director shared, “It was a pleasure for the YMCA to team up with the DES/MEYSAL to offer an extended holiday programme. Participants have had a blend of traditional day camp activities (e.g. sports, arts & crafts, field games) and after-school staples including STEM, academic enrichment, and social emotional learning.”
The programme also included activities for High School students, “For the older participants at the Field of Dreams, leadership and teamwork activities have been at the forefront of the Teen Challenge Camp. Under the guidance of caring, well-trained staff members, students participated in safe and fun activities with an underlying focus on the Y’s five core values of honesty, caring, respect, responsibility and faith.” Mr. Robinson concluded.
Incredibly happy parents of two boys, Madelin and George McLean, had this to say, “We are so grateful to the Cayman Islands Government and the YMCA for hosting these 2 weeks of camp. Our boys enjoyed all the fun activities. The staff were very helpful and every day the boys would come home excited to tell us about all the fun they had. They enjoyed the breakfast served, the lunch and all the healthy snacks too. They made lots of new friends and had a very lovely time.”
Another parent, Merthelin Ebanks, echoed these comments and added her appreciation for the lunch and snack programme that was included, as well as the great care that was taken care of the children. “I am so grateful this was offered free of charge and meals included, otherwise it would have been very difficult for many parents. My kids had a fantastic time.”
Student Nevaeh Terry, who was in the programme at the Theoline McCoy Primary School said she truly enjoyed the activities she was able to take part in, her favourite was balloon games and creating tie-die shirts.
“The Ministry of Education was delighted with the opportunity to partner with the YMCA to provide well-needed support for parents and ensuring that children were engaged in a safe, well-supervised environment during the extended Christmas break," commented Minister of Education, Hon. Juliana O’Connor-Connolly.