Longwood Branch - OUR IMPACT
As the mother of two small children, Johnny and Rebecca, Andrea Peters wants the best possible care and learning environment for her children while she and her husband work.
“I want more than care. I want my children to be with people whose hearts are engaged, who interact, listen, look, love, question, encourage, and forgive,” explained Andrea. “I found that at the Longwood Branch YMCA.”
Becca was enrolled in the Longwood Branch YMCA preschool, where the hands-on learning environment allowed her to flourish. She showed a flair for the dramatic by taking on a lead role in the class play and her young peers came to recognize her as a leader. These experiences not only left Becca well prepared for Kindergarten, but also instilled a love for learning.
The entire Peters family is part of the Longwood Branch YMCA family. They attend special events and play a vital role in the Annual Campaign. The Peters’ are marvelous cheerleaders for the Y!
“The Y staff genuinely cares about all aspects of my children’s well being. They demonstrate compassion and dedication, tempered with understanding and love. And, there is something more, an overarching commitment to Christian centered values,” continued Andrea. “The Longwood Branch YMCA fosters the philosophy and values I diligently try to instill in my children, and I thank them from the bottom of my heart.”
Like Rebecca’s mom, Andrea, survey respondents from the Akron Area YMCA’s early learning programs report the following benefits:
96% report their child is demonstrating positive character development.
96% report their child is learning to interact with other children.
95% report their child is making progress in intellectual development.
Lou and Dorothy Moliterno of Macedonia, Ohio, have been passionate about fitness at the Longwood Branch YMCA for nine solid years! Both attend regular fitness classes three to four days a week to relieve stress and feel better mentally and physically.
“Even though working out by itself doesn’t necessarily affect weight, it makes you feel great and look better at whatever weight you are,” said Dorothy.
The Moliterno’s began their journey with the Longwood Branch YMCA when it offered membership benefits, including a workout center with cardio machines, strength training machines and free weights. When the Longwood Branch YMCA became a program branch, Dorothy and Lou stayed on because of the social interaction between seniors and children.
“We tried other workout centers, but came back for classes because we appreciated seeing what the kids in preschool and camp were doing,” Dorothy continued. “The Y offers camaraderie with teachers and staff. The best thing is the mix of young and old, giving meaning to others.”
Despite staying active and fit, Dorothy experienced tachycardia (rapid heart rate) and her doctor ordered a cardiac catheterization. Much to everyone’s surprise, her doctor was able to use her wrist instead of groin. Dorothy credits instructor June’s weight training classes. June showed Dorothy how to work out properly with free weights by pushing more repetitions slowly, to fatigue the muscles. These workouts increased the size of Dorothy’s blood vessels, making it possible for her to have a diagnostic procedure done much more simply.
In Dorothy’s words, “This is one of the things you don’t see. We often focus on what we see on the outside of our bodies, but instead, there is a whole host of things that improve by being physically fit.”
Lou and Dorothy champion the Y cause by donating annually to the Annual Campaign. “The Y has a lot of people who give the place heart, and we want to donate because we feel that what you are doing is good,” said Dorothy. “You offer a value to the community because you are part of improving lives!”
97% experience improved physical health.
96% experience improved self-esteem.
97% enjoy social interaction with others
Arrie’s Fresh Start
Arrie Boddie has been singing the praises of the Longwood Branch YMCA’s Phoenix Alternative Learning Experience (PALE). She captured her story of success and self-growth by writing an essay about her experience in the program at school. Arrie eloquently shared her story not only during a Longwood Branch YMCA Community Impact Tour, but a Regional YMCA Legislative Briefing as well.
“By stopping, stepping back and looking at situations rather than jumping to conclusions, I am now able to resolve conflicts in a more constructive manner,” Arrie said. “I no longer feel the need to lash out and yell at people and I am establishing positive relationships.”
Arrie’s hard work within the PALE program helped her learn to focus on her schoolwork and respect the positions of others
by not prejudging them. Her ability to maintain a calm demeanor has made a big difference in how she relates with adults and peers.
The PALE program provided Arrie the opportunity to learn from her mistakes and start over. PALE taught her that if there are things you don’t like, the time to them change is now.
“I feel more confident and composed and I communicate much more effectively,” Arrie continued. “I credit the PALE program with helping me improve my grades, get a job and believe in myself — and my ability to develop a plan and go after my dreams.”
Like Arrie, survey respondents in the Akron Area YMCA’s social responsibility programs reported the following benefits:
79% developed positive relationships with adults.
78% developed positive relationships with peers.
62% improved their conflict resolution skills.
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8761 Shepard Road
Macedonia, Ohio 44056
(234) 808-4098 (fax)