• 88°

YMCA rewards good grades with pizza

The Chilton County YMCA’s after school program is continuing to look for inventive ways to entice kids to study and strive for success in everything they do.

Since the start of the school year, the YMCA has partnered with Little Caesar’s to host pizza parties that take place every nine weeks when report cards come out.

Any child who receives A’s and B’s on their report card is eligible to attend a pizza party provided by Little Caesar’s.

According to YMCA after school director Ginger Head, the pizza is an incentive for kids to put forth their best effort in school. The pizza party continues to grow with more kids being added to the list with each report card that comes out.

Anticipation is building as report cards are set to come out next week. It will be the third pizza party held this year.

“The kids are so excited,” Head said. “They will let us know when it is getting close to report card time. It has been very motivational.”

The idea was spurred on when Lori Patterson took over as director of the Chilton County YMCA in August, which also corresponded with the start of the school year.

“The first time we did the pizza, there were lots of children that did not get to have a piece, but we only had a handful the second time,” Head said. “I’m anxious to see the third time around.”

A skating party was recently held at the Clanton Slating Rink for 38 children in the program that brought their AR books for three straight weeks.

“We were talking about what we could do to encourage the children to bring their AR [accelerated reader] books to the Y,” Head said. “So much of their reading grade is based off of their AR reading.”

The after-school program is offered to children from Clanton, Jemison and Thorsby, who are bussed from their schools to the YMCA.

The program includes three rotations pertaining to academics, art and a structured physical education activity, as well as a provided meal and free play for about 30-40 minutes.

Roughly 80 kids are currently enrolled in the after school program. Parents can enroll any child from kindergarten to 8th grade.

Children can join the after school program at any point during the year. For information, call the YMCA at (205) 755-2382.

Once school ends, the YMCA will begin its summer camp program.

The majority of the volunteers and staff assisting in the after school program are former or retired teachers that understand the needs of children.

“They are making great strides not only educationally, but also in their behavior and ability to get along with one another,” Head said. “It’s amazing what a little love can do.”