‘Y Reads in Space’ inspires participants


Young readers numbering 80 (grades K-3) participated in the YMCA’s “Y Reads in Space” program held at the Y’s Marco Island site under the leadership of Esta Alliker, the “Y Reads” lead coordinator. Alliker, with her staff of 10 and 11 volunteers supervised the young readers as they moved from station to station, completing the activity at each station; thereby gathering a stamp for their “passport.”

Golden Paws Reading Dogs were at the Sun Station and provided motivation for the students to read to them. Planet Jupiter provided comprehension questions for articles read while Neptune had an opportunity for the young readers to write a description of an alien.

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Another planet had the young readers reading sight words and one other learning exercise included “moon rocks” that showed the reader a word and the student had to give a word that was its opposite. 

Alliker said that the, “YReads program gives struggling students ways to improve their academic skills, builds self-esteem and social skills, which aligns with the YMCA’s mission to build healthy minds and helps students reach their full potential by learning, growing, and thriving.”

She continued, “The event was truly a combined effort of various parts of the Youth Development and School Age Departments, led by Stephanie Pepper and Charlene Rose respectively.”

In addition, Alliker praised the “Y Reads” coordinator at Parkside Elementary, Daniela Zafra, and the “Y Reads” coordinator at Golden Gate Elementary, Berzini Bazile, for making the impressive planets and rocket ship as well as the constellations and other space décor.

Approximately 30 parents attended the event and from the smiles on their faces, had an enjoyable time.