YMCA keeps kids safe, offers fun activities

To the editor:

The Berkshire Family YMCA is proud to do our part in supporting families and keeping kids safe over the summer, particularly in light of recent local criminal activity. This summer, we have several programs designed to keep kids safe and active while having fun.

The YMCA/Marilyn Hamilton Literacy-Sports Program is one such program. Organized by Vannessa and Manny Slaughter, this program is free to as many as 100 children ages 7 to 14 at Durant Park. Children learn literacy skills, participate in sports and go on educational field trips. Sign up at Durant Park on Saturday, June 11, 2-4 p.m. The program runs July 5-Aug. 18, Mondays-Thursdays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

The Y's Bright Futures: Summer Literacy Program is helping youth avoid the summer slide. It is offered for 40 children entering the second through fifth grades who need reading development. Children learn literacy skills led by certified teachers and take part in arts/crafts, nutrition education, field trips and physical activity. Talk to your school about providing a referral to develop your child's literacy skills. Financial assistance is available for the $200, eight-week program. Program dates: June 27-Aug. 19, Mondays-Fridays, 9-4 p.m.

The YMCA also offers Camp Sumner at BCC in Pittsfield and Camp Abenaki at Windsor Lake in North Adams, both providing a traditional day-camp experience. Check out berkshirefamilyymca.org for more information.


These programs develop building blocks for youth development by providing a creative learning environment for young people to feel empowered, build self-esteem and make lasting friendships. We do this while keeping them safe and guiding them to make good choices.

Randy Kinnas, Pittsfield The writer is executive director of the Berkshire Family YMCA.