Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

July 14, 2014

Summer school students take advantage of YMCA

TAZEWELL, Va. — ‘Y’ not enjoy the summer?

Thirty-nine students taking summer school physical and driver’s education from across Tazewell County have done exactly that the past 24 days. Instructors Tamara Wilson of Tazewell Middle School, Tom Keene of Tazewell High School, and Richlands Elementary’s Adam Davis have coordinated activities between Tazewell High School and the nearby Four Seasons YMCA for their students.

“We have done dodge ball, basketball, softball, weightlifting and swimming, among other activities,” says Wilson. “The YMCA has been so wonderful to us — we have used regular and cardio equipment, and the staff has made classes here available, as well.”

With cooperation from Tazewell County Schools and transportation on buses, the YMCA allowed the students to use the facility for free. Students have spent a portion of the day on site at school and then taken a few minutes to go to the ‘Y’ for a varied curriculum offering.

“An advantage of using the ‘Y’ is that the equipment is state of the art, there are different sizes of equipment according to the height of the students — the staff has been helpful, the trainers have been made available to us, they are awesome,” said Wilson.

The students, who enjoyed an end-of-year lunch together Friday, were equally pleased with the summer effort.

Jake Matney, of Graham High School, said, “This has been fun. From basketball to volleyball to swimming, we have participated together and improved our physical conditioning.”

Brooke Osborn, a freshman from Tazewell, added, “I have had a lot of fun with my friends, meeting new people, and after what I have done this summer, I am considering going out for the volleyball team.”

The teachers also thought the session was productive.

Davis noted, “One important consideration is that several of our students do not have access to the ‘Y’ normally, and them getting to participate in the weight room and getting to walk, swim, has been great to see. This has made education fun and you certainly want to do that when kids are giving up six weeks of their summer vacation to do this.”

Keene said, “The ‘Y’ has been awfully good to us, and we have been able to offer swimming for the first time. We have also been able to offer classes for boys and girls so they can work together in weightlifting, basketball, etc. We appreciate the ‘Y’ and the director, Tommy Parham, for everything that has been to make us feel welcome.”

Tazewell Principal Timothy Hollar, viewing the program for the first time, observed, “This is a great community participation activity. It fosters cooperation between the schools and the YMCA. It’s a very positive experience.”

Christine P. Kinser, superintendent of Tazewell County Schools, concluded, “We are fortunate that the YMCA, Mr. Parham, and his staff are willing to help our students. This is an exceptional offering and the school system is happy to be a part of it.”

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