Todd Rosenbaum, Executive Director of the Florida Alliance of YMCAs spoke emphatically that the quality of the program YMCA Reads! serves and meets the desire of the Florida Legislature to fund highly accountable, efficient and effective programs that serve the people of Florida, which makes the decision by the Florida legislature (in the fiscal year 2014-2015) to increase funding dollars from $764,000 to $2,764,000. This nearly $2 million more means that the program, currently offered in 15 locations across the state, will grow to approximately 40.
The State Senator for District 32, Joe Negron who serves as the Florida Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman and was instrumental in securing the $2 million funding for the Florida YMCAs. Senator Negron stated, “Reading is the most fundamental building block in laying a proper foundation for learning success. The Y provides students with a great opportunity to become capable longtime readers”.
The YMCA Reads! program is run at two schools on the Treasure Coast, JD Parker Elementary in Stuart and Warfield Elementary in Indiantown. John M. Lass, President / CEO of the YMCA of the Treasure Coast stated, “The YMCAs of Florida are grateful to Senator Negron for recognizing the positive impact this program is having on first and second graders around the state. Our goal at the Y is that every child develop to their fullest potential.”
In the early beginnings of the YMCA, a retired Boston sea captain Thomas Valentine Sullivan, working as a marine missionary, noticed a need to create a safe “home away from home” for sailors and merchants. Inspired by the stories of the Y in England, he led the formation of the first U.S. YMCA at the Old South Church in Boston on December 29, 1851. Since that time the Y has been around serving by helping communities in the wholesome development of America’s young men and women.
While in recent years across the country in some neighborhoods, the Y in some instances have taken a beating on its credibility due to many moral and financial scandals that sometimes attack the organization as plagues. Yet, through it all, the YMCA is still the nation’s leading nonprofit committed to helping people and communities to learn, grow and thrive. The contributions of the Y are both far-reaching and intimate—from influencing our nation’s culture during times of profound social change to the individual support providing students and adults to read. By nurturing the potential of every child and teen, improving the nation’s health and well-being, and supporting and serving our neighbors, the Y ensures that everyone has the opportunity to become healthier, more confident, connected and secure.
Individuals, situations and circumstances are the cohorts of scandal involving at times the YMCA—-but the institution which was originally established with great morals and values still stands as a bright light in the U.S.A.
REF: YMCA e-Newsletter June 2014