Meet the staff of NYC YMCA’s!

November 19, 2015


November 11, CATCH Program Director Peter Cribb traveled to New York City where, with support from our partners at MD Anderson and FlagHouse, he led the YMCA’s of NYC in CATCH training. We were lucky enough to get interviews with some of the folks who participated, and get their insights into how CATCH will improve their programs!
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Brianne Barry is a Kindergarten-1st grade group leader at Staten Island YMCA, with a 2 and a half year background in early childhood education.

Why did you want your staff to participate in the CATCH training?

BB: I think it’s a good idea for not only myself but all the other staff to better themselves and learn more. As adults, we obviously haven’t learned everything we can learn so I think it’s very important to come here and take all this knowledge and bring it back to our site and tell all of our staff about it.

What challenges do you have in these afterschool programs now that you think CATCH will help with?

BB: They are coming to us from a full day of day school and regardless if its Kindergarten 1st or second grade; they’re sitting all day with maybe 20 minutes of playtime outside. I think us being able to take 30 minutes out of our lesson time and have these games that we can play in the classroom and have them active and moving is fantastic. It’s really a good opportunity for children who don’t have that time to move, and mixes up their routine throughout the day.

What I like most is that it doesn’t have to be the same game every day. There are so many options in this CATCH activity box, it’s crazy. We all opened it and thought, “wow this is fantastic.” There are over 400 cards with all those activities. It just gives us all these options for us as counselors to share with these kids who don’t have the time at home to go do something because maybe they’re doing homework or just don’t have the time. Now we have the ideas where we can share a new game with our kids every day. They can even take those ideas and bring it home and share it with their families.

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Nicole Paloscio is a Y After School Counselor PS 19 2nd and 3rd graders

Tell me about your background and how you ended up at the YMCA.

NP: I have bachelors in early education, and I am going for masters in special education now. I wanted to work in an after school and the YMCA seemed like the best of the best and I’ve been here ever since.

Why did you want your staff to participate in the CATCH training?

NP: I feel like there is something new to learn to do with our kids in gym. They always get so excited when you play new games with them. Plus they look forward to gym and if you could make it the best that you can make it than that’s rewarding for them.

What did you take away from the CATCH training?

NP: It’s all interactive all the time. If our kids do something that would normally get them kicked out of the game, with CATCH activities, we don’t have to sit them out because there is always an activity for them to do. The kids will be constantly active the whole time.

What challenges do you have in these afterschool programs now that you think CATCH will help with?

NP: Just overall, more knowledge and more activities for the kids. We do the same games every day. We try to make up different games but having a whole bunch of options will make it better and more fun for them.

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Jessica Turkus is a Kindergarten – 1st grade counselor.

JT: I have an early childhood education background. I am going for my Masters in special education right now. I thought that working in a Y Afterschool would be best for me, to be able to work with kids before becoming a full time teacher.

Why did you want your staff to participate in the CATCH training?

JT: We are always brainstorming, and trying to learn something new to do with the kids. Plus fitness is one of their favorite times of the day. It also seemed like a really fun training to do for myself and our staff!

What did you take away from the CATCH training?

JT: I really liked the idea of not having kids sit out during gym. CATCH has games where they had to get back into the game. So these activities really keeps them engaged the whole time.