Joplin Family YMCA looks to plug students into their passions - KOAM TV 7

Joplin Family YMCA looks to plug students into their passions



Plugging Students into their Passions

(Joplin, MO) – This October, the Joplin Family YMCA will launch Plugged-In, a new after school program that aims to help middle school students unlock their creativity as they participate in positive activities.

Plugged-In will work through 6-week sessions held on-site at one of Joplin’s middle schools. Each session will feature a topic of interest to the students and give them opportunities to explore that topic and develop their skills in that area.

The first session, which will begin on October 14, will focus on photography and features program curriculum and instruction by Art Feeds. At the end of the session, the students’ work will be displayed, showcasing what the students learned and giving them a sense of pride for their accomplishment. The goal of the program runs deeper than the arts, though.

“We believe that every middle school student needs a place to belong,” said Lori Jones, Joplin Family YMCA associate executive director. “Teens who are engaged in extra-curricular activities are more like to make healthy choices and utilize the support system around them.”

The Y aims to engage students who are not involved in other activities, such as those who don’t play sports, belong to clubs or have a youth group. Jones hopes that through this program, the “invisible” kids of Joplin’s middle schools will find a positive support system that will help them succeed both in and out of the classroom.

“We think students will form a mentor relationship with the YMCA staff during the 6-week period,” Jones explained. “As we provide an option for middle school students to unlock their creativity, we also want to create an opportunity for them to make connections with positive role models.”

There is $50 enrollment fee for the program, which includes a daily snack, the Art Feeds curriculum and a one-hour photography lesson. The Y does not want cost to be a deterrent to anyone, though.

“Scholarships are available to offset the cost of the program,” Jones said. “As always, the Y will not turn anyone away for a lack of ability to pay.”

The first session of Plugged-In begins on October 14 from after school until 6pm at North Middle School, room B5.


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