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What Makes the YW an Asheville Organization?

6 Jan

We asked some YW Members – what is your favorite thing about the YW? And what, in your opinion, makes the YW an Asheville organization? Here’s what we found out.

Name: Jessica Shrago
YW member since: July of 2014
Programs: Club W, Yoga teacher, student of belly dance
What is your favorite thing about the YW? The people!
What makes the YW an Asheville organization? All inclusive and laid-back

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Name: Peggy Weaver
YW member since: 4+ years
Programs: Club W, Aquatics classes, tai chi, stretch
What is your favorite thing about the YW? It looks like REAL people belong here – diversity (demographic, ethnic, abilities…)
What makes the YW an Asheville organization? Proud tradition of mission-driven, community building awesomeness!

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Name: Elaine Barnes
YW member since: 2 years
Programs: Club W
What is your favorite thing about the YW? Great classes
What makes the YW an Asheville organization? Its diversity

Name: Becky Stone
YW member since: 33 years
Programs: Club W, Board member
What is your favorite thing about the YW? The diversity
What makes the YW an Asheville organization? Broad representation of the Asheville population; service; women!

_SCS6004Name: Janet Stanhope
Programs: Club W, Diabetes Wellness & Prevention
What is your favorite thing about the YW? The classes
What makes the YW an Asheville organization? We are family! Friendliness & caring.

Name: Alex Mitchell
YW member since: 3 glorious years
Programs: Staff, Club W
What is your favorite thing about the YW? Classes and the food I can smell cooking in the kitchen
What makes the YW an Asheville organization? All inclusive! (Fringe Gym)

Name: Kay Kuczynski
YW member since: 5 months
Programs: Pool
What is your favorite thing about the YW? Friendliness, inclusivness

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Name: Russell Sutton
YW member since:  February 2015
Programs: Club W
What is your favorite thing about the YW? Diverse group of people looking for different types of fitness
What makes the YW an Asheville organization? Focused on the local community and tied to people living around it.

New Club W members: Sign up today and your joiners fee ($49) will be waived! Plus, receive a free fitness consultation and “We Are Asheville” t-shirt.   www.ywcaofasheville.org/clubw

Nurturing Children at the YWCA & at Home

5 Jan

By Wanda Harris, Director of the YWCA Early Learning Program and Empowerment Child Care

In our 5-star Early Learning Program at the YWCA we have the children in 5 classrooms, divided by age. Everything we do is centered around helping the children in our care develop, and play is a great way to help encourage this.
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In the infant room (6 weeks through 12 months) love and attention provides the stimulation they need.

In the toddler room (12-24 months) they need more one-on-one interaction on the floor. They need a lot of back-and-forth dialogue because they’re building up their language skills, leading to what we call a ‘vocabulary explosion.’ They love music and things that make sounds and talk to them. You have to be deliberate with what you do because they’re learning how to mimic.

In the Pond classroom (24-36 months) it’s even more about language. They know what they’re saying and language skills are exploding. They love to be read to and to “read” to themselves. It’s the independent stage – ‘I can do it for myself and by myself.’ Emotions are big, and friendships are developing. They are learning how to start being independent and can be encouraged in this direction – to put on their own coats, and put their own socks and shoes on.

In the Bees and Pre-K room (3-5 yrs.) it’s important to have activities that develop the children’s fine and gross motor skills – they are learning how to cut paper, maneuver with their fingers, jump and run. They’re also getting better at following directions – knowing that they can listen and how to listen.

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Beginning in the toddler room we focus on the importance of good nutrition and exercise in developing brains. Our Rainbow In My Tummy nutrition curriculum means freshly prepared meals with whole grains, fruits, and vegetables and no added sugars. To further our children’s knowledge and awareness of nutrition we have our own nutritionist does a segment called “Farmer’s Market Friday” where the children do taste testing on new healthy fruits and vegetables each week. This is imperative because the foods we put into our bodies play a very important role.  We also stress the importance of at least an hour of outdoor playtime every day.

Outside we encourage free play, where the children are using their imagination and developing their gross motor skills – they run, jump, skip, utilize the riding toys, and even balancing activities. We also have a board outside with attached pots and pans to make music.

Starting at age 3 every child in our program starts taking swim lessons in our solar-heated pool. The water is a great place for children to get exercise and have fun with friends and family, and it’s also very important for their safety that they learn how to swim from an early age.

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Families don’t need expensive toys to play with their children! Here are some l0w-cost items that are good to have on hand for playing games:

  • Take a plastic ziplock bag, fill with oil, non-toxic paints or just food coloring and seal – let the child make patterns and enjoy squishing it around.
  • Take sticky clear contact paper, let the children put different colored tissue paper on it, and put it up on the window – children will enjoy rubbing it to feel the textures and make designs.
  • Create “sensory bottles” by filling clear bottles with oil, glitter, buttons, food coloring, pipe cleaner and then seal them with hot glue.
  • Make a dress-up box filled with old clothes and accessories to encourage dramatic play.

Finally, talk to your children as much as you can. If you know a second language, even if it’s basic, start it when they’re one year-old. As soon as they can say yes and no they can start saying “si” or “uno”; it’s important to start early.

Wanda Harris is Director of the YWCA’s Early Learning Program. She is a Level 3 Child Care Administrator, State of North Carolina, holds an MA of Education, is an MBA Candidate, and has 28 years of child care experience.

Check Out Our Club W Facility!

10 Dec

Curious about what our Club W Health & Fitness Center looks like? We’ve put together a simple slideshow that will give you a sense of our building.

 

Of course, nothing beats coming in for a tour! Visit us at 185 South French Broad Avenue today.

Learn more about Club W at www.ywcaofasheville.org/clubw or call 828-254-7206 for more information.

Feliz y Fuerte en la Piscina de la YWCA

30 Jul

Maria tiene 8 años de edad, y vino por primera vez a la YWCA para tomar clases de natación para principiantes hace unos meses atrás.???????????????????????????????

Fabiola, la madre de Maria- quien es originaria de México – nos dice: “Me di cuenta en la piscina pública que las familias hispanas tienden a permanecer en el borde y no nadar en lo absoluto. En nuestra cultura no es tan común aprender a nadar, pero quiero que mis hijos aprendan a nadar por su seguridad, y para que puedan tener las mismas oportunidades y ser parte de la cultura de aquí. ”

Fabiola eligió la YWCA  porque había oído que tiene un ambiente seguro y que cuenta con buenos instructores. “A Maria le encanta venir aquí – ella se divierte muchísimo”, dice Fabiola. “Ella tiene más confianza en el agua – La veo mejorar cada semana.”

Cuando se le preguntó lo que piensa acerca de sus clases de natación en el YWCA, Maria me dice simplemente: “Me gusta aprender.”

¿Cómo se siente ella en el agua? “Se siente feliz y fuerte.”

Fabiola, quien no sabe nadar, dice que la mejoría y la alegría de María en el agua la ha inspirado a querer inscribirse para las clases de natación para ella misma.

La Sra. Shawn, profesora de natación de Maria, dice de ella:

“El espíritu de esta jovencita es increíblemente enorme. Durante sus primeras lecciones podía sentir su miedo. Ella tenía miedo pero estaba dispuesta a probar!”???????????????????????????????

“He enseñado a nadar durante aproximadamente 13 años. Nunca antes había tenido un estudiante que ha trabajado tan duro, y avanzado tan rápidamente. Esta jovencita tiene la fuerza y la tenacidad de alguien mucho mayor. Ella me sorprende cada semana. Ella pasó de tener miedo a poner la cara en el agua… a bucear en la sección de 12 pies de la piscina y nadar a lo largo de la piscina completa por su cuenta. Esta jovencita tiene una valentía como nunca habia visto antes.

“Me siento tan alegre de observar a esta jovencita no sólo crecer como un nadadora… pero también como una chica joven y confidente. No hay nada mejor en el mundo como que tu estudiante de mire a los ojos y te regale una gran sonrisa.

“Esun hecho comprobado queconlas clases de natacióncontinuas losniñosdisminuyen la probabilidad deun accidente en elagua.Comoinstructora de nataciónmi objetivo es, no sólo enseñar los niñoslos fundamentos principales de la natación, sino tambiénenseñarles aestar segurosen el agua.

“Maria es una joven nadadora increíble que ha tocado mi corazón de muchas maneras.”

Para mas información sobre las clases de natación, por favor visite:  www.ywcaofasheville.org.

Gracias!

Meet Our New Club W & Aquatics Staff!

21 Jul

Natalie AnneNatalie Anne, Yoga Instructor

Class or Classes do you teach?

I teach Gentle Yoga and Back Care Yoga.

Why should people come to your class?

People should come to my class because I offer a style of yoga that is truly effective. I call it vibrant breath yoga, because it is a moving meditation in which the breath inspires the physical practice. Each class is sequenced intelligently and we use PNF, or proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, to move in and out of poses before we hold them. This maximizes the stretching potential, but in the safest way possible.

Who should come to your class?

Come to my class if you want a gentle physical practice that mobilizes breath awareness to increase strength and flexibility.  The class is designed to leave you feeling relaxed and renewed. It for all ages and skill levels, and is beginner friendly as well.

Certifications/ Trainings/ Passions

I have my Asheville Yoga Center teacher training; Forrest Yoga teacher training; NC Licensed Massage & Bodywork Therapist; and I’m currently pursuing a certification in Yoga Therapy with Gary Kraftsow. My passions include biking, soccer, good food, nature walks and live music.

Tell us one thing our members may like to know about you.

I try not to take myself too seriously. As the saying goes, ‘laughter is the best medicine’.

 

Tiffany CopelandTiffany Copeland, Zumba® Instructor

What class (or classes) do you teach at the YWCA?

Zumba® Fitness

Why should people come to your class?

People should come to my class for a fun, and engaging party-like atmosphere while they workout. The camaraderie is encouraging and keeps you motivated.

Who should come to your class?

Everyone is welcome!

Certifications/Training/Passions

I am a Certified Group Fitness Instructor with a license to teach Zumba®  Fitness. I love people, music and dance. My favorite dance styles are salsa, merengue, soca, reggae, cumbia and hip-hop. I teach a variety of these dance styles in every Zumba®  class with easy to follow movements.

Tell us one thing our members may like to know about you.

I’ve lost over 40 pounds during my weight-loss journey!

 

 

Tara EdwardsTara Edwards, Fitness Associate

What brought you to the YWCA?

My passion for working with those who want to implement a healthier lifestyle. I wanted to train at a gym that is filled with positive energy and passionate members. The YWCA is just that! I have only lived in Asheville for a few weeks, but the YWCA already feels like home with its supportive and family-like community.

What suggestions do you have for people just beginning their workouts?

Do not compare yourself with those around you. Instead, focus on bettering yourself day by day. We all have to start somewhere, so never forget to keep pushing yourself each day and never give up. The transition from a sedentary lifestyle to an active and healthy lifestyle can be daunting, but the YWCA offers a supportive community to make that transition. You got this!!!

What is your workout like and your “go-to” healthy snack?

My workouts vary each week, which I believe is important. Keeping your body guessing all while working various muscle groups will increase your fitness level and push you out of your comfort zone. My cardiovascular workouts vary from swimming to kickboxing to hiking while my resistance training exercises implement my own bowy weight, machines, free weights and even tire flipping, and so much more! My “go-to” healthy snack is a banana, which is packed with nutrients and energy I need to keep myself going.

Certifications/Training/Passions:

I’m an ACSM certified personal trainer, AHA CPR and AED “heart saver” (for health professionals) certified, Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Georgia with a major in Exercise Sports Science. My passions include: health, fitness, and helping others achieve their goals through personal training.

Tell us one thing our members may not know about you.

I am truly excited to continue to meet and get to know members here. Don’t hesitate to say hello or ask anything you would like to know about health and fitness. If you desire to make a positive, healthy change in your life, you are at just the place!

 

Emily RichterEmily Richter, Aquatics

What class (or classes) do you teach at the YWCA?

I will be teaching swimming lessons as a Water Safety Instructor (WSI). I am not sure exactly what classes I will teach yet, but it will likely be babies and young kids.

Why should people come to your class?

I have loved swimming and being in the water ever since I can remember. My mom has told me stories of my first swimming lessons as a baby and I think that it’s very important to introduce kids to the water as soon as possible. There is so much to enjoy and the sooner you get started the more comfortable you will be.

Who should come to your class?

Anyone who would like to learn to swim. While it’s great to start early, it’s never too late to learn. You should come to my class if you are interested in having fun and learning to love the water!

Certifications/Training/Passions

I have my Water Safety Instructor (WSI) certification, and am an avid swimmer and whitewater kayaker. I am currently training for a half Iron distance triathlon, which requires a 1.2 mile swim. I am passionate about the outdoors and enjoying life to the fullest!

Tell us one thing our Members may like to know about you.

I am an interior designer, graphic designer, and artist when I’m not teaching swimming lessons!

 

 

Meet Our Health & Wellness Coordinators!

15 Jul

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043 Name/ Title: Susan Kettren, Director of Health and Wellness

How long at the YW: 2 years

Years in Asheville: Almost 9 years

Favorite thing(s) about the YWCA: Feeling the love from everyone.

What you like to do in your spare time: Being relatively new to the mountains, I love to get out and explore all there is to do in the area.

People would be surprised if they knew I…… love collecting southern folk art with my family, particularly face jugs.

 

 

046Name/ Title: Charley Cox, Club W Coordinator

How long at the YW: 3 years

Years in Asheville: 15

Favorite thing(s) about the YWCA: All of the diversity in the building.

What you like to do in your spare time: Do fun stuff outside with my daughter.

People would be surprised if they knew I…… love to eat chocolate!

 

 

044Name/ Title: Alex Nielson, Child Nutrition Coordinator

How long at the YW: 2 years

Years in Asheville: 11

Favorite thing(s) about the YWCA: The kids! I love watching Child Care kids come in to school in the mornings.

What you like to do in your spare time: Run, cook, bake, garden, go to breweries, play with our dog, and float down the river with friends.

People would be surprised if they knew I…… have the same name as my husband; we are Alex and Alex Mitchell!

 

 

053Name/ Title: Kitty Schmidt, Aquatics Coordinator

How long at the YW: 14 years in August 2014

Years in Asheville: 14

Favorite thing(s) about the YWCA:  The people and how welcoming everyone is.

What you like to do in your spare time:  Spend time with family, quilt, and paint.

People would be surprised if they knew I…… love to garden.

 

 

041Name/ Title: Katie Souris, Preventive Health Coordinator

How long at the YW:  2 ½ years

Years in Asheville:  8 years

Favorite thing(s) about the YWCA: The team of people I work with and the people I work for in the Diabetes Wellness and Prevention Program and Salsa, Salud y Sabor.

What you like to do in your spare time: Play banjo, hike, eat delicious food, hang out in the woods, spend time with family and friends.

People would be surprised if they knew I…… love salamanders.

 

 

049Name/ Title: Pamela White Wolsey, Membership Coordinator

How long at the YW: 4 Months

Years in Asheville: 6 months

Favorite thing(s) about the YWCA: The mission, positive energy, inspirational stories in Club W, classes in the studio, fellow staff.

What you like to do in your spare time: Hike, cook, cuddle with husband and dog and eat (collectively).

People would be surprised if they knew I……  only watch one television show & it’s Jeopardy, which I watch religiously.

 

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Happy and Strong in the YWCA Pool

3 Jul
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Maria with her mother, Faviola, and her brother.

Maria is 8 years-old, and first came to the YWCA for beginners swim lessons just a few months ago.

Maria’s mother Faviola – who is originally from Mexico – says: “I noticed at the public pool that Hispanic families tend to stay at the edge and not swim. In our culture it’s not so common to learn how to swim, but I want my children to learn for their safety, and so that they can have the same opportunities and be part of the culture here.”

Faviola chose the YW because she had heard that it’s a safe environment, with good instructors. “Maria loves coming here – she has so much fun,” says Faviola. “She has more confidence in the water – I see her improvement every week.”

Asked what she thinks about her swim lessons at the YW, Maria says simply: “I like to learn.”

How does she feel in the water? “Happy and strong.”

Faviola, who cannot swim, says that Maria’s improvement and joy in the water has inspired her to want to sign up for swimming lessons herself.

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Ms. Shawn, Maria’s swim teacher, says of her:

“The spirit of this young girl is amazingly huge. The first few lessons I could feel her fear. She was afraid…but willing to try!

“I have taught swimming off and on for about 13 years.  I have never before had a student who has worked so hard, and advanced so quickly.  This young lady has the strength and tenacity of someone much older. She has amazed me on a weekly basis.  She went from being frightened to put her face in the water…to now diving in the 12 feet section of the pool and swimming the full length of the pool on her own. This young girl has courage like I have never witnessed before. 

“I have felt so much joy in watching her not only grow as a swimmer…but as a confident young girl.  There is nothing in the world like being a teacher… and then have your student look you in the eye and SMILE so big.

“It is a proven fact that with consistent swimming lessons children can decrease the chance of a water accident.  As a swim instructor it is my goal to not only teach children the basics of stroke development, but to show them how to be safe around water as well. 

“Maria is an incredible young swimmer who has touched my heart in so many ways.”

Learn more at http://www.ywcaofasheville.org/aquatics.