Blog

Father’s Day: More Than an Excuse to Buy a Tie

Inspired by a Mother’s Day sermon over 100 years ago, Sonora Louis Smart Dodd wondered why there was no similar holiday for fathers. One of six children, Dodd’s father was a single father and she felt he and others deserved to be honored. After securing support from ministers in Spokane, Wash., her idea came to fruition with the first Father’s Day celebration at the Spokane YMCA on June 19, 1910. Many years passed before the day became a national holiday, but today we use the day to honor the fathers and father figures in our lives. On Sunday, June 20,

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A Place to Call Home

Written by Shade Jalo “Everyone should have a space where they feel like they are included, visible, and valued. We have to be that space, especially for those who may not have that anywhere else.” As we march through Pride month, this particular line from our Summer Day Camp Diversity and Inclusion training really hits home for me. In my experiences as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, finding that space can be challenging. While Pride is a celebration of the accomplishments in acceptance and inclusion we have made so far, it is also a reminder of how far we

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Drowning is Preventable: Know the Facts, Reduce the Risks

Written by Melissa Anderson Although swimming, kayaking and boating are some of the most popular summertime activities, they can be some of the most dangerous, as well. At the Y, we are dedicated to always keeping kids safe, including when they’re in the water. In the same way we highlight child abuse prevention every April, May is the month we discuss drowning prevention tips, skills and resources with parents and caregivers. Drowning is preventable, and the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City is committed to providing vital water safety information to the members of our community. To emphasize the necessity and

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Tips for Water Safety

As temperatures rise, it’s only natural that kids want to cool off. Whether that happens in home pools, ponds, lakes, rivers, streams or oceans, that means the risk of drowning is as prevalent as ever. May is National Water Safety Month, and now is the perfect time for parents and caregivers to reinforce the importance of equipping their kids with essential water safety skills.   As “America’s Swim Instructor,” we typically teach hundreds of children invaluable water safety and swimming skills each year.  With many pools closed last summer due to COVID-19, we want to ensure parents, caregivers and children make water safety a top priority as they head

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Summer: A Time for Fun & Jobs

The transition into summer never ceases to amaze me. There’s this familiar, palpable mix of hope and anticipation in the air. Parents and children alike have high expectations and are all eager to be free from homework, surprise presentations and tests. For many of us, summer is a time to look forward to each year. The sun’s out, it’s warm, and we have more time to do fun activities and see our friends. When you think about it, our summers are often chalk full of things to do. Keeping the kids occupied usually means taking advantage of the longer days

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Listening and Responding to Children

  Written by Jill Goyette Throughout the month of April, we’ve addressed the importance of understanding the Y’s abuse prevention policies, recognizing red flags and boundary violations, and how to talk with your children about abuse. Now it’s time to discuss what to do as parents or caregivers when children tell you about boundary violations, warning signs or abuse. At the Y, we are mandated reporters which means we have procedures in place for reporting and responding to suspected abuse. As someone who may not be a trained mandated reporter, it’s critical you still know what to do in the

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Talking with Your Children About Abuse

Written by Jill Goyette Just because a conversation is important doesn’t mean it will be easy. Many parents and caregivers find that speaking to their children about abuse can be uncomfortable. Framing these conversations around other safety discussions you have may make it easier for you to work through some of that discomfort. If this is something you’re struggling with, below are a few age-appropriate ways to talk to your child about boundaries and preventing abuse. Young Children The first step you can take to start these conversations is ensuring young children know the correct names for their body parts.

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Access, Privacy and Control: The Warning Signs of Abuse

Written by Jill Goyette At the Y, creating safe spaces for youth to learn, grow and thrive is our top priority – especially following the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Kids need a safe space now more than ever, and we take pride in the measures we’ve taken to help keep your kids safe. Whether you enroll your little one in our programs or not, we still want you to be well-versed in abuse prevention. Here are some important tips for parents to know as we work together to keep kids safe from abuse. Offenders seek three things in order

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Child Abuse Prevention: Know Our Employee Code of Ethics

Written by Jill Goyette As the Executive Director of Youth Development, I spend a large chunk of time working to improve our youth programs. Part of this includes designing and implementing child abuse prevention trainings for staff and volunteers. However, I don’t do this work alone. There is an entire Child Abuse Prevention team at the Y made up of staff members from across our Association. We hold trainings year-round, but every April during Child Abuse Prevention Month the team focuses more of our efforts on raising awareness. These efforts go far beyond our daily child abuse prevention routines. We

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Weathering the Storm

Written by John-Mark Beaver As I sit in my office typing out this blog article, it is a rainy and grey day in Oklahoma City. It reminds me of the mood that cast itself over our city, state and nation a year ago during the month of March when the coronavirus pandemic became a very real and present storm; one we had no idea how to weather. That same stormy gale that enveloped our nation engulfed the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City. As a member of the Board of Directors, I’ve witnessed our Association take on many a stranded sailor

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Father’s Day: More Than an Excuse to Buy a Tie

Inspired by a Mother’s Day sermon over 100 years ago, Sonora Louis Smart Dodd wondered why there was no similar holiday for fathers. One of six children, Dodd’s father was a single father and she felt he and others deserved to be honored. After securing support from ministers in Spokane,

Read More »

A Place to Call Home

Written by Shade Jalo “Everyone should have a space where they feel like they are included, visible, and valued. We have to be that space, especially for those who may not have that anywhere else.” As we march through Pride month, this particular line from our Summer Day Camp Diversity

Read More »

Drowning is Preventable: Know the Facts, Reduce the Risks

Written by Melissa Anderson Although swimming, kayaking and boating are some of the most popular summertime activities, they can be some of the most dangerous, as well. At the Y, we are dedicated to always keeping kids safe, including when they’re in the water. In the same way we highlight

Read More »

Tips for Water Safety

As temperatures rise, it’s only natural that kids want to cool off. Whether that happens in home pools, ponds, lakes, rivers, streams or oceans, that means the risk of drowning is as prevalent as ever. May is National Water Safety Month, and now is the perfect time for parents and caregivers to

Read More »

Summer: A Time for Fun & Jobs

The transition into summer never ceases to amaze me. There’s this familiar, palpable mix of hope and anticipation in the air. Parents and children alike have high expectations and are all eager to be free from homework, surprise presentations and tests. For many of us, summer is a time to

Read More »

Listening and Responding to Children

  Written by Jill Goyette Throughout the month of April, we’ve addressed the importance of understanding the Y’s abuse prevention policies, recognizing red flags and boundary violations, and how to talk with your children about abuse. Now it’s time to discuss what to do as parents or caregivers when children

Read More »

Talking with Your Children About Abuse

Written by Jill Goyette Just because a conversation is important doesn’t mean it will be easy. Many parents and caregivers find that speaking to their children about abuse can be uncomfortable. Framing these conversations around other safety discussions you have may make it easier for you to work through some

Read More »

Child Abuse Prevention: Know Our Employee Code of Ethics

Written by Jill Goyette As the Executive Director of Youth Development, I spend a large chunk of time working to improve our youth programs. Part of this includes designing and implementing child abuse prevention trainings for staff and volunteers. However, I don’t do this work alone. There is an entire

Read More »

Weathering the Storm

Written by John-Mark Beaver As I sit in my office typing out this blog article, it is a rainy and grey day in Oklahoma City. It reminds me of the mood that cast itself over our city, state and nation a year ago during the month of March when the

Read More »

Father’s Day: More Than an Excuse to Buy a Tie

Inspired by a Mother’s Day sermon over 100 years ago, Sonora Louis Smart Dodd wondered why there was no similar holiday for fathers. One of six children, Dodd’s father was a single father and she felt he and others deserved to be honored. After securing support from ministers in Spokane,

Read More »

A Place to Call Home

Written by Shade Jalo “Everyone should have a space where they feel like they are included, visible, and valued. We have to be that space, especially for those who may not have that anywhere else.” As we march through Pride month, this particular line from our Summer Day Camp Diversity

Read More »

Drowning is Preventable: Know the Facts, Reduce the Risks

Written by Melissa Anderson Although swimming, kayaking and boating are some of the most popular summertime activities, they can be some of the most dangerous, as well. At the Y, we are dedicated to always keeping kids safe, including when they’re in the water. In the same way we highlight

Read More »

Tips for Water Safety

As temperatures rise, it’s only natural that kids want to cool off. Whether that happens in home pools, ponds, lakes, rivers, streams or oceans, that means the risk of drowning is as prevalent as ever. May is National Water Safety Month, and now is the perfect time for parents and caregivers to

Read More »

Summer: A Time for Fun & Jobs

The transition into summer never ceases to amaze me. There’s this familiar, palpable mix of hope and anticipation in the air. Parents and children alike have high expectations and are all eager to be free from homework, surprise presentations and tests. For many of us, summer is a time to

Read More »

Listening and Responding to Children

  Written by Jill Goyette Throughout the month of April, we’ve addressed the importance of understanding the Y’s abuse prevention policies, recognizing red flags and boundary violations, and how to talk with your children about abuse. Now it’s time to discuss what to do as parents or caregivers when children

Read More »

Talking with Your Children About Abuse

Written by Jill Goyette Just because a conversation is important doesn’t mean it will be easy. Many parents and caregivers find that speaking to their children about abuse can be uncomfortable. Framing these conversations around other safety discussions you have may make it easier for you to work through some

Read More »

Child Abuse Prevention: Know Our Employee Code of Ethics

Written by Jill Goyette As the Executive Director of Youth Development, I spend a large chunk of time working to improve our youth programs. Part of this includes designing and implementing child abuse prevention trainings for staff and volunteers. However, I don’t do this work alone. There is an entire

Read More »

Weathering the Storm

Written by John-Mark Beaver As I sit in my office typing out this blog article, it is a rainy and grey day in Oklahoma City. It reminds me of the mood that cast itself over our city, state and nation a year ago during the month of March when the

Read More »