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Lots of new’s at YMCA

By Leigh Ann Rutledge
Accent Editor

STRONG KIDS. The YMCA’s “Strong Kids 2013” annual Campaign is underway. Laura Fulmer (center), Carroll County YMCA operations director, has help showing off the “strong” campaign contributions from Kyra Blackman, 3, (left) and Easton Russell, 3. The two are students in the Carroll County YMCA preschool program.

While no longer a teacher, Laura Fulmer is still helping children and their families.

Fulmer is the operations director at the Carroll County YMCA. She began the operation director duties in January but has been working for the YMCA organization since May 2010. 

Fulmer holds an associate degree in Early Childhood Education and worked for 15 years at the Canton Jewish Center, beginning in school age child care, becoming a preschool teacher and eventually School Age Child Care director.  When the Center closed, the before and after school programs were taken over by the Meyers Lake YMCA and Fulmer began her YMCA career.  At Meyers Lake YMCA, she worked in the childcare program. 
Fulmer, who lives in North Canton with her husband, John, is responsible for all programs offered at the Carroll County YMCA. 

“I always wanted to teach, to see that moment when the information clicks into place,” she said.  “This is a good time to make a step in my career.  My daughter is 22 and in college and I am sort of experiencing an empty nest.”

The Carroll County YMCA has 742 members at the present time, a 22 percent increase since the beginning of the year.  Fulmer plans to add more programming and classes across the board and offer more selection for children after school. 

“Since I have been a teacher, I feel I have an advantage,” she stated.  “I have an insight to help develop programs to meet both the teachers needs and families needs.  I want to develop programs and build curriculum to bring out the best in both situations.”

Fulmer is getting to know the area, going out in the community seeing what the needs are and finds the people very friendly.  “John grew up in East Sparta and would love to move out of the city and closer to this area,” she said.

The Carroll County YMCA is offering yoga classes taught by Cynthia Hervey and hopes to add a Silver Sneakers(r) Yoga Stretch class in April. Healthy Kids Day is scheduled for April 27 and will feature a Kids Fun Run and information and other activities for children and their families.  Healthy Kids Day is being held in conjunction with Carroll County Safe Kids and is promoting Sports Safety Week.

Fulmer, along with Karla Dennis and Cynthia Hervey, are developing a kids running club  to create a fun non-competitive program designed to promote a positive self-image and encourage a life-long appreciation for healthy living.  The program is for boys and girls grades 1-5 and will be held 4-5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays from March 12 - April 25 at the YMCA.  Cost is $20 for members and $40 for non-members.  Financial assistance is available for this program.

While she does not get to work directly with the children as much since taking over in her duties, she feels she is still serving families through her new duties, which she says is “where her heart lies.” 

The YMCA Preschool and Child Care programs provide a fun and safe place for children to grow through activities that encourage active, social play and support learning.  Gloria Boley is the preschool teacher which has 17 children enrolled.  A total of 20 school age children participate in the Before/After program.  A healthy after-school snack and homework time are provided.  Financial assistance is available through the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and the Carroll County YMCA.  Annual registration fee is $30 per child or $60 per family.  Preschool is offered Monday-Friday 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.  The Before/After School program is Monday-Friday 6:30 a.m. to 7:45 p.m. and 2:30 - 6:30 p.m.  Rates and additional information are available by contacting the YMCA.  Summer camp is also planned.

The YMCA offers programs such as cardio, core and strength classes, gymnastics, Tae Kwon Do, basketball, soccer, volleyball and more. Adult programs such as outdoor running club and Choose to Lose are also offered.

The annual YMCA Strong Kids Campaign begins March 1.  Through the campaign, financial contributions provide assistance for disadvantaged youth and families so they may participate in programs and membership opportunities.  It also provides for YMCA memberships and programs such as youth and adult sports.  Over 60 kids and adults in Carroll County were helped last year through the Strong Kids Campaign. 

Fulmer noted the YMCA promises no one is turned away for inability to pay.  “We received our first Chairmans Roundtable donation for the 2013 campaign from Rex Energy,” she said.  “Banners of past and current Roundtable donors are on display at the YMCA.”

For more information on memberships, programs descriptions or how to donate to the Strong Kids Campaign, contact the Carroll County YMCA at 330-627-9622. 

The YMCA is located at 211 Moody Ave., SW, Carrollton.  Hours of operation are Monday-Thursday 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Saturday 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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