As part of our 6 June 2023 photo challenge, the YMCA of the Cayman Islands spotlighted two of its programmes that teach kids skills in a safe environment, giving them space to learn and grow. Along with addressing the May Child’s Month theme of “Investing in Our Children Means Investing in Our Future”, both programmes align with the YMCA Vision 2030 Pillars of Community Wellbeing and Meaningful Work.
For over 30 years, the Cayman Islands Little League (CILL), operated by the YMCA of the Cayman Islands, has helped local children thrive. It allows them to learn baseball and softball skills emphasising teamwork, sportsmanship and the ‘art of competition’.
Open to ages 4-18, Little League programmes teach young people values to become good citizens. And its talented staff brings a creative coaching approach that makes the game fun, exciting and memorable.
Currently in Little League are 550 children from 31 schools in Grand Cayman. Many of those are young children, with 50 per cent between the ages of 4-8. The youngest players enjoy T-Ball. It’s a simplified version of the game, where players hit the ball from a tee. And the 7-8-year olds focus on learning to hit, field and pitch. And the Little League seeks travel opportunities each year to further develop players’ skills and experience.
Says the YMCA, “We take pride in the quality programming we deliver. It enables players to explore game strategy, learn about competition and how to interact with other team members and opponents”.
Extended After-School Programme
To celebrate Child Month in May, YMCA Cayman’s Extended After-School Programme (EASP) held a series of workshops called ‘Spend it Together’ at various primary schools. The programme enabled parents to engage with their children and learn about the importance of Social Emotional Learning.
Parents had the chance to win prizes, take part in fun activities, and have something to eat with their children. The Cayman’s Family Resource Centre supported the initiative and provided information about their services for families.
All after-school activities integrate the YMCA’s core values of honesty, caring, respect, responsibility and faith. Additionally, the programme reaches children most in need during critical after-school hours, helping them build confidence and social and emotional awareness.