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National Bullying Prevention Month

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. The campaign was founded in 2006 by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center and unites communities nationwide to educate and raise awareness of bullying prevention.

According to PACER, In the past, bullying had been viewed as “a childhood rite of passage” that “made kids tougher”, but bullying can have long term effects on children including low self-esteem, increased anxiety, and depression.

There are warning signs parents should be aware of if their child is being bullied, however, not all children who are bullied exhibit warning signs. Stopbullying.gov suggests parents look for these signs that may point to bullying:
 
  • Unexplainable injuries
  • Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry
  • Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness
  • Changes in eating habits, like suddenly skipping meals or binge eating
  • Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
  • Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, or not wanting to go to school
  • Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations
  • Feelings of helplessness or decreased self esteem
  • Self-destructive behavior such as running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide
It’s also important to recognize if your child is the bully. Warning signs that your child may be bulling others are:
 
  • Getting into physical or verbal fights
  • Have friends who bully others
  • Are increasingly aggressive
  • Get sent to the principal’s office or to detention frequently
  • Have unexplained extra money or new belongings
  • Blame others for their problems
  • Don’t accept responsibility for their actions
  • Are competitive and worry about their reputation and popularity
A study done in 2012 from the Indicators of School Crime and Safety reported that an adult was notified in less than half (40 percent) of bullying incidents. There are many reasons kids don’t tell adults such as:
 
  • Bullying can make a child feel helpless and kids may want to handle it on their own to feel in control again
  • Kids may fear backlash from the kid who bullied him
  • Bullying can be a humiliating experience and kids may not want adults to know what is being said about them
  • Kids who are bullied already feel socially isolated and feel like no one cares or could understand
  • Kids may fear being rejected by their peers
Bullying is a significant problem nationwide. Schools, teachers, and parents can play a critical role in creating an environment where bullying is not tolerated. 
 

What Is Health Literacy?

October is Health Literacy month, a great time for organizations to promote the importance of understandable health information. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, Title V, defines health literacy as the degree to which an individual has the capacity to obtain, communicate, process, and understand basic health information and services to make appropriate health decisions. David Ruby, Medical Librarian with Aurora Health Care says, “Part of health literacy is being able to understand the meaning of the advice given and understanding what the doctor, nurse, medical website or text is telling you.” Research by the National Patient Safety Foundation shows that most people need help understanding health care information, regardless of reading level, and prefer information that is easy to read and understand.

The National Center for Education Statistics reveals the health of 90 million people in the U.S. may be at risk because of the difficulty some patients experience in understanding and acting upon health information. The American Medical Association says that literacy skills are a stronger predictor of health status than age, income, employment status, education level, or racial/ethnic group. It is estimated that one in five Americans reads at the fifth grade level or below, and the average American reads at an eighth or ninth grade level. Most health care literature is written at a tenth grade level. “It is very important for consumers to understand what they are hearing or reading,” states Ruby. “Making sure our patients have the proper information is a valuable resource. The right amount of information is critical; we don’t want them to have too much or too little, and we want them to have the right amount of technical details. Librarians can connect them with that information.” Research does suggest that people with low literacy levels are more likely to make medication and treatment errors, are less likely to comply with treatments, are less likely to be able to negotiate with the health care system, and are at higher risk for hospitalization. 

“Health literacy helps patients ask the right questions, so they are prepared and know what to expect from their appointments,” explains Ruby. “When people understand their medical condition, they can ask appropriate questions regarding medications and treatments. They can utilize quality resources to research conditions or medications, and go to the physician informed about relevant symptoms they may be experiencing and treatment options available.” The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states that persons with limited health literacy skills are more likely to have chronic conditions and are less able to manage them effectively.  It is estimated that the communication disconnect of health information between health care providers and consumers costs between $106-$238 billion per year.

Aurora Medical Center in Oshkosh offers community members an opportunity to become more health literate. “Finding Reliable Health Information” is a class offered to anyone who is interested in learning more about surfing the Internet for health information. “Using the Internet to find reliable health information can be overwhelming,” states Ruby. “Knowing which sites are reliable and credible is very important. Patients need to be aware of sites that are biased, trying to sell them something, are outdated, or that make claims that are not supported by an authority or simply wrong.” Ruby states that a person can call 920-456-7039 to schedule this free class any time.

Medical libraries, such as the one at Aurora Health Care, can be great resources for patients to improve their health literacy. “The library is a usable patient resource,” states Ruby. “It can demystify questions about medical diagnosis, tests, and pharmaceuticals. It can assist in basic health terminology and can make a diagnosis less scary for the patient or their family.”

Physical Therapy: What It's All About

October is National Physical Therapy Month. The month long celebration is used to increase awareness of the valuable role physical therapists and physical therapy assistants can play in assisting people with decreased pain, improved mobility, and improved lifestyles. Ben Benesh, Physical Therapist at Aurora Health Care states, “Physical therapy is a conservative approach to treat patient ailments. It’s an alternative approach to surgery or pharmaceuticals. Physical therapy can improve musculoskeletal and neurological functions.” A physical therapist can help with arthritis, back pain, fitness, knee pain, obesity, osteoporosis, overuse injuries, shoulder pain, stroke rehabilitation, sprains, strains, fractures, and much more. 

A physical therapist is someone who applies research and proven techniques to help restore motion to a patient. All physical therapists have a graduate degree – either a master’s degree or a clinical doctorate – from an accredited physical therapy program. They are then required to complete a national and state licensure examination. Physical therapists can provide care for people in a variety of settings including hospitals, private practices, schools, outpatient clinics, sports and fitness facilities, nursing homes and work settings. “The role of a physical therapist is to reduce pain and restore functional mobility. Physical therapists are experts in movement that specialize in musculoskeletal injuries,” explains Benesh. “Physical therapy assistants are the only other licensed health care providers that render physical therapy services under the supervision of a physical therapist.” Physical therapy assistants also complete clinical education through an associate degree program and also have to pass a state and national licensure examination. Physical therapy assistants often provide services such as therapeutic exercise, functional training, deep soft tissue massage, and physical modalities such as electrotherapy and ultrasound.
 
Everyone can benefit from physical therapy. Aging adults can use physical therapy programs for fall risk management, improved balance and increased strength. “Osteoarthritis, specific to the knee and shoulder, a physical therapist can have a great impact without surgical intervention,” states Benesh.  The American Physical Therapy Association states that people are often referred to a physical therapist for rehabilitation from a major medical trauma or surgery, however research suggests that treatment by a physical therapist is often equally effective, and cheaper, than surgery and prescription drugs.  Most states allow a patient to make an appointment with a physical therapist without a direct referral from their physician. “If the patient is not a good candidate for physical therapy, the physical therapist would refer the patient on to the appropriate health care professional,” explains Benesh.

Aurora Health Care in Oshkosh Physical Therapy department offers the following services:
  • Running analysis
  • Concussion management
  • Vestibular rehabilitation
  • TMJ therapy
  • Neurological rehabilitation
  • Orthopedic rehabilitation
  • Sports Medicine
  • Cancer program
  • Osteoporosis program
  • Spine rehabilitation
“Physical therapy is an individualized evaluation of a multitude of ailments,” adds Benesh. “It is our hope to establish a comprehensive program the patient can carry on for the duration of their life for preventive health and general health maintenance.”

Benesh concludes, “People should consider having a physical therapist like they have any other health care provider such as a dentist, primary care physician or chiropractor.” To learn more about how physical therapy can benefit you, contact Aurora Health Care at 303-8700.
 

LIVESTRONG™ at the Y

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and is an annual international health campaign organized by major breast cancer charities and health systems to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure. The campaign also offers information and support to those affected by breast cancer.

Breast cancer is a disease in which cells become abnormal and form more cells in an uncontrolled way. The cancer begins in the tissue that makes up the breast and the cancer cells may form a mass called a tumor; however, not all tumors are cancerous. The most common types of cancer are ductal and lobular. Ductal carcinoma is cancer that begins in the ducts and grows into surrounding tissues.  About 80 percent of all breast cancers are this type. Lobular carcinoma is cancer that begins in lobules and grows into surrounding tissues.

Men and women should know what their breasts normally look and feel like so they can report any unusual changes to their doctor. Breast cancer symptoms include: a lump in or near your breast or under your arm; thick or firm tissue in or near your breast or under your arm; a change in the size or shape or your breast; nipple discharge (not breast milk); nipple changes, such as nipple inversion; and/or changes to your breast skin.

Physical activity has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer, as exercise boosts the immune system and helps keep people at a healthy weight.  Thirty minutes of exercise per day can begin to lower risk of breast cancer. A nutritious, low-fat diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables can also help reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. High-fat diets increase risk because fat triggers estrogen production which can fuel tumor growth. Recent research has also confirmed that smoking is a contributor for developing breast cancer, as is secondhand smoke.  Stress can also play a role in developing some cancers.  In 2012, research studies showed that factors such as traumatic events and losses can alter a person’s immune system functions, and when immune systems are altered, cancer cells may have a greater opportunity to get establish themselves in the body. The research also showed that how a person handles the stress can also play a role.

The American College of Radiology recommends women receive a baseline mammogram at the age of 40 and continue to do so every year as long as they are in good health. Breast cancer screening looks for signs of cancer before the symptoms begin. Screening can help with early detection, when the change for successful treatment is best. A mammogram is a low-dose x-ray of the breasts to look for changes that are not normal. A clinical breast exam is when the doctor looks at and feels the breasts and under the arms for lumps or anything else that seems unusual. These are typically done when a women receives her annual exam.

Current treatment options for breast cancer vary depending on the stage of the cancer, the size of the tumor, type of breast cancer you have, whether or not you have reached menopause, and a person’s general health.  Surgery is the most common treatment, as the goal of surgery is to remove all cancer from the breast. Some women will need to undergo a lumpectomy, in which only the cancer is removed, not the breast. Others will have to undergo a mastectomy, where the entire breast is removed. Other forms of treatments typically combined with surgery include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and immunotherapy. 

Aurora Medical Center in Oshkosh now offers Breast tomosynthesis or 3D mammography which is a computerized imaging technology that can be added to traditional digital mammography. It creates image slices of the breast. The use of tomosynthesis helps the radiologist resolve the difficulty of detecting small, early malignancies in the more dense, more complex breast, particularly in younger patients. In addition, the use of tomosynthesis has shown to decrease the call-back of patients for questionable findings in such breasts seen on screening exams.

If you or someone you know has just finished treatments for breast cancer, the LIVESTRONG™ program at the YMCA is an excellent resource. LIVESTRONG™ at the YMCA is a twelve-week, small group program designed specifically for adult cancer survivors. The program fulfills the need of supporting cancer survivors who find themselves in the transition between cancer treatment and feeling physically and emotionally strong enough to return to their normal life or their “new normal”. The program is conducted at the YMCA to emphasize that LIVESTRONG™ is about health, not disease. For more information about the LIVESTRONG™ at the YMCA program, call the Oshkosh YMCA or visit the Livestrong website at www.livestrong.org.
 

Fruits and Veggies Month

The Produce for Better Health Foundation recognizes September as Fruits and Veggies month. The PBHF recommends every person make fruits and veggies about half of what you eat, every time you eat.  Combined with physical activity, eating the right amount of fruits and veggies can keep your family healthy and going strong.

Fruits and vegetables offer a magnitude of health benefits including fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Research also suggests that fruits and vegetables contain compounds that play a role in preventing certain cancers as well as heart disease and stroke. By eating fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors, a person will receive the most all-around health benefits. 

Red fruits and vegetables contain nutrients such as lycopene, ellagic acid, Quercetin, and Hesperidin.  These nutrients reduce the risk of prostate cancer, lower blood pressure, reduce LDL cholesterol levels and support joint tissue. Common red fruits and vegetables include beets, cherries, cranberries, radishes, raspberries, red grapes, red potatoes, rhubarb, strawberries, tomatoes, and watermelon.    

Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables contain beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, flavonoids, lycopene, potassium, and vitamin C.  These nutrients lower LDL cholesterol and blood pressure, reduce age-related macular generation and the risk of prostate cancer, promote collagen formation and healthy joints, and work with magnesium and calcium to build healthy bones. Yellow and orange favorites include butternut squash, cantaloupe, carrots, grapefruit, organs, sweet potatoes, mangoes, pumpkin, and sweet corn. 

Green vegetables contain chlorophyll, fiber, lutein, calcium, folate, vitamin C, calcium, and Beta-carotene.  These nutrients reduce cancer risks, lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels, normalize digestion time, support retinal health and vision, and boost the immune system. Green fruits and vegetables include asparagus, avocados, broccoli, green grapes, lettuce, peas, spinach, kiwifruit, peas, and zucchini.

Blue and purple fruits and vegetables contain nutrients such as lutein, zeaxanthin, resveratrol, vitamin C, fiber, flavonoids, ellagic acid and quercetin.  These nutrients support retinal health, lower LDL cholesterol, boost the immune system, support healthy digestion, fight inflammation, reduce tumor growth, and improve calcium and other mineral absorption. Familiar blue and purple fruits and vegetables are blackberries, eggplant, grapes, plums, pomegranates, purple cabbage and blueberries.   

White fruits and vegetables contain nutrients such as beta-glucans and liganans that provide immune boosting activity. These nutrients activate natural killer B and T cells, reduce the risk of colon, breast, and prostate cancers, and balance hormone levels. White fruits and vegetables include bananas, cauliflower, dates, garlic, mushrooms, potatoes, and onions.

A cheaper method of eating fresh fruits and vegetables is to grow your own.  Home-grown produce has all the nutritional benefits and it costs a lot less.  For your own garden, choose the most flavorful and color variety of your favorite fruits and vegetables. Fruits and veggies are good for your budget and good for your body. 
 

National Falls Prevention Awareness Day

Each year on the first day of fall, national organizations from the Falls Free Coalition and the National Council on Aging (NCOA) join together for National Falls Prevention Awareness Day, a day of action to help raise awareness and prevention of falls in Oshkosh. On Friday, September 22, the Oshkosh Community YMCA is asking older adults, caregivers, family members and health care professionals in Oshkosh to unite to raise awareness to prevent falls among older adults.
 
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an older adult in the U.S. is treated in the ER for a fall-related injury every 14 seconds and dies from a fall-related injury every 29 minutes. Additionally, falls put an immense strain on the health care system, with the financial toll expected to reach $67.7 billion by 2020. The good news is falls are preventable, and the first step to prevention is understanding risk. With a focus on healthy aging, the Y is committed to helping older adults learn their fall risk and access programs that can help them reduce their risk for falls.
 
“Falling and fear of falling may can prevent older adults from staying active, which leads to reduced mobility, diminished quality of life and actually increases their risk of falling,” said Rich Roehrick, 20th Ave YMCA Health and Wellness Director. “The good news is that falls are highly preventable and help is available for older adults and their families who want to get active but don’t know how.”
 
As a leading community-based organization dedicated to improving the nation’s health for all families, the Oshkosh YMCA encourages older adults to learn their risk for falls by taking a fall risk test at http://www.ymca.net/health-wb-fitness/.
 
Once risk is assessed, the Oshkosh YMCA is helping older adults feel strong, steady and safe by reducing fall risk through programs like Senior Cycling, Senior CORE, Senior Pilates, Chair Yoga, Water Fitness, stretching and balance classes and much more!
 
The CDC suggests these basic lifestyle and safety changes to help reduce risk or prevent falls:
 
  • Begin an exercise program to improve your leg strength & balance.
  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review your medicines.
  • Get annual eye check-ups & update your eyeglasses.
  • Make your home safer by:
    • Removing clutter & tripping hazards.
    • Putting railings on all stairs & adding grab bars in the bathroom.
    • Installing proper lighting, especially on stairs.
To learn more about the Oshkosh YMCA’s Active Older Adult programs and classes visit www.oshkoshymca.org or call 920-236-3380.
 

Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

The Oshkosh Community YMCA wants families in Oshkosh to understand how adopting healthy habits can help reduce childhood obesity. September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, and while the dangers of childhood obesity are well chronicled, many families need support changing their families’ habits with the ultimate goal of being a healthy weight. That’s why the Oshkosh YMCA—a leading community-based organization dedicated to improving health—wants families to understand the dangers of childhood obesity and ways to reverse course through improved eating habits and increased physical activity.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the prevalence of obesity has remained stable at about 17 percent and affects about 12.7 million children and adolescents. Today, obesity affects one in six children and one in three are overweight, which poses greater risks for many health problems such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and some cancers. Here in Wisconsin, 31 percent of all children are considered overweight or obese, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

“Successfully lowering obesity rates in children requires the whole family to change their eating and physical activity habits,” said Ben Wanezek, Oshkosh YMCA Downtown Health and Wellness Director. “Kids learn unhealthy habits at home, and many parents or caregivers don’t realize how the choices they make affects those who look up to them.”

“Additionally, if families don’t know how to get started, reaching out to your health care provider or organizations like the Y that provide support are great first steps.”

The following tips are some great ways to incorporate healthier eating habits and more physical activity and into your daily family routine:
 
  • Eat & Drink Healthy: Make water the drink of choice and encourage everyone to fill half their plates with fruits and vegetables by offering two or three colorful options at every meal. As a family choose a new fruit and veggie every week to taste together.  Place a full pitcher of water on the table during meals, and allow children to pour their own water.
  • Play Every Day/Go Outside: Children should have at least an hour a day of unstructured play outside (when possible) and break a sweat at least three times a week by getting 20 minutes or more of vigorous physical activity. Join your children in games that get your hearts pumping and bodies moving.
  • Get Together: Eat as a family as frequently as possible. Involve kids in meal planning, preparation and clean up. In addition, adults should take a break from electronics and spend one-to-one time each day with their kids, enjoying one another’s company.
  • Reduce Recreational Screen Time: Time spent in front of a television, computer, tablet, cell phone or video games should be limited to two hours or less per day. Make a family plan to reduce screen time at home (i.e. turn off screens during meals, go for a walk after a meal, set a timer to remind you to power down the screen).
  • Sleep Well: Kids and adults need to keep a regular sleep schedule; unwind together in the evenings by reading a book or listening to soft music to ensure the body is preparing for sleep. Kids are growing and need 10-12 hours of healthy sleep per night and seven to eight hours for adults.

In addition to being healthy at home, there is a need to maintain healthy habits while attending out-of-school programs. To create healthy environments for all children the Oshkosh YMCA is implementing Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Standards in our before and after school programs. Our goal is to make the healthy choice the easy choice for your child while he or she is in our care.

To foster your child’s health, the Y strives to:   
   
  • Provide a fruit and/or vegetable at all meals and snacks.
  • Only provide low-fat milk and water as beverages.
  • Set limits on screen time.
  • Provide daily physical activity (outdoors when possible).
  • Adults model healthy food and beverage choices and active play.
  • Provide parent/caregiver education to encourage healthy behaviors at home.

To learn more about the Oshkosh Community YMCA, go to www.oshkoshymca.org.
 

Sleep Health

“Sleep hygiene” is a term used to describe practices that are sleep-friendly. If you’re having trouble falling or staying asleep, review this checklist to see if any of these factors may be causing or worsening the problem. 

Is your bedroom a sleep-friendly area? Minimize noise, light and excessive room temperatures when preparing for sleep. If you’re having trouble with sleep, experts recommend eliminating activities in the bedroom that can distract you, such as watching TV, reading, eating, or working. Do those activities elsewhere in the home. If you can’t fall asleep in 15 to 20 minutes, get out of bed and do a relaxing activity in another room until you become sleepy.

Do you keep a regular pattern of bedtime and waking? Waking up at about the same time of day helps retiring at bedtime be more predictable.

Do you limit your intake of caffeine? Caffeine disrupts sleep because it’s a stimulant. Caffeine is not only in coffee and tea, but also in some soft drinks, medications, and foods. Avoid caffeine after lunch and cut down on your total daily use to help avoid being too stimulated at bedtime.

Do you smoke cigarettes near bedtime or during sleep hours?  Nicotine is a stimulant that may “trigger” your body to remain alert.

Do you drink alcoholic beverages late in the evening? While alcohol may help some people feel relaxed, it can actually disrupt sleep later in the night.

Do you eat heavy meals too close to bedtime? Heavy meals may make lying down feel uncomfortable. Try a light snack instead, which may help induce sleep.

Do you do vigorous exercise within three to four hours of bedtime? Regular exercise is essential for good health, but if done too late in the evening, it may interfere with sleep. Exercising in the late afternoon, however, can help deepen sleep.

Do you take naps frequently? Avoid napping during late afternoons or evenings. If you must nap, do so early in the afternoon and limit the nap to 30 minutes.

Are you feeling anxious about not getting enough sleep? Worrying about not being able to get enough sleep and spending too much time in bed attempting to “get more rest” can make insomnia worse.

Do you work shift work? Working the night shift often has the potential to seriously disrupt your “body clock”. Often, companies that schedule shift work offer training on how to adjust to sleeping when it is daylight, or when family activities and other interruptions can make sleep difficult.

Shape up your habits and practice good sleep hygiene. Your sleep health is an important part of your overall health.
 

Substance Abuse

Substance abuse is a treatable condition. It’s hard to acknowledge that you or your loved one may have a problem. Often times people feel like it’s a character weakness or be too embarrassed to talk about it. Substance abuse is a serious health condition.

Substance abuse can be a life-threatening condition. People would seek care immediately for most life-threatening conditions, but unfortunately, substance abuse stigmas stop many people from seeking treatment, especially if you feel it could jeopardize your career or make you less of a role model for your family or kids. People can seek treatment for substance use too, and they can beat it, they might just need a little help.

There are many licensed experts to assist. Calling a helpline can put you in contact with a licensed care specialist who can listen to and understand your situation. They can arrange a face-to-face evaluation by an expert, who will create a personalized care strategy to help begin the journey to recovery. Experts in dealing with substance abuse can even assign family with a dedicated Care Advocate who will provide support for up to six months after treatment.

On Saturday, September 9, re:Th!nk of Winnebago County is hosting an Addiction Run/Walk to benefit the Solutions Recovery center, Nova Counseling Center, and the D.A.R.E. program. The event will take place at the Solutions Recovery Center in Oshkosh and includes a 7-mile run, 5K run/walk, and 1 miles walk. 

Facilities like Nova Counseling Center in Oshkosh provide support and encouragement for those needing help with substance abuse. Nova supports the Oshkosh community by providing a 50 bed residential facility for adult men and women with substance abuse problems. Ten of those beds are for a halfway house, the Terra House. Nova also has a mentoring program that is facilitated by staff for Drug Court participants and recovering people at Solutions Recovery Club.  Participants from the Terra halfway house and mentor program help out in the community by providing community service hours at many local businesses. 

Do you have a loved one struggling with substance abuse? It can be very hard to watch someone you care for on a path towards self-destruction. You may fear that expressing your concern will appear nagging and make things worse. You can make a difference by asking for advice on how to help from facilities like Solutions and Nova. Addiction is a brain disease that affects people spiritually, mentally, and physically. Facility treatment centers provide a safe place for people to heal from addiction at the beginning of their journey. Licensed care experts can help advise you on how to start talking to your loved one about getting help. It may be a tough call on when to step in, however tackling addiction is a team effort and your intervention could save someone’s life.

For more information on the Addiction Run/Walk, visit www.dutrirun.com or register for the event at www.active.com. For more information about Nova Counseling Center or Solutions Recovery Center, visit their websites at www.novaoshkosh.com and www.sri-wi.org.
 

YMCA Afterschool Care

A new school year is filled with potential—a chance to start new routines and habits, build new friendships and discover new possibilities and interests. It’s an exciting time for many kids, however—at the end of the school day, 11.3 million kids head to homes where they are unsupervised form 3 to 6 p.m. according to Afterschool Alliance, a nonprofit public awareness organization. As children transition from summer to fall, the Oshkosh Community YMCA is offering programs to school-aged children throughout the Oshkosh Area School District to keep youth active, busy and engaged during out-of-school time. Through a well-rounded approach to youth development, the Y’s program offers activities in a caring and safe environment during the critical hours after school. Whether through sports, mentorship, or academic support, the Y nurture the potential of youth throughout the school year.

 “One in five children do not have someone to care for them after school, an essential time to help increase children’s success in school,” said Erin Baranek, School Age Director at the Oshkosh Community YMCA. “Afterschool at the Y is an opportunity for families to ensure their kids are receiving additional support, continued learning and a chance to participate in meaningful activities that can inspire children’s motivations and abilities to succeed.”

The Y is a leading nonprofit committed to nurturing the potential of every child and teen, supporting their social-emotional, cognitive and physical development from birth to career. In the Oshkosh YMCA’s  afterschool program youth receive help with homework and can also explore music, art, outside physical activity, group games, science and nature. Financial assistance is available to those in need, to ensure every child and teen has the opportunity to learn and grow at the Y.

The Oshkosh YMCA employs Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) standards in our afterschool programs that help build a healthier future for our nation’s children by encouraging healthy eating habits, limiting screen time and providing physical activity to keep every child healthy.

For more information about the Oshkosh YMCA’s afterschool program, please contact Erin Baranek at erinbaranek@oshkoshymca.org or call 920-236-3380.

The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 22 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change.
 
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