Y-Zone coming to Monticello

The Clinton Community YMCA’s first effort in Monticello as it considers establishing a branch in the community will be a before and after school program for elementary school children at Lincoln Elementary School. The Y-Zone, modeled after one done in Clinton the past 12 years, will be open between 6:30 a.m. and the start of school and after school until 6 p.m. Kindergarten through fifth grade youth can take part.

Monticello School Superintendent Vic Zimmerman said one local day care will cease before and after school activities this fall, so school staff had been discussing how to address that need.

With a steering committee already meeting to talk about a possible YMCA branch in Monticello, the Y-Zone seemed like a good fit.

“It’s exactly the type of program that I was thinking of as a possibility,” said Zimmerman.

“The idea is that YMCA runs the program and just uses our schools. They hire their employees, are responsible for programming, responsible for their own background checks. It just happens to be in our school,” he added. “So to me, to have programming where we’re not hiring a bunch of employees, all we have to do is give over Lincoln School before and after school, works perfectly and fills that need.”

Forms are available at the district school office in Monticello, located in Washington Elementary, and online at www.clintoncommymca.org.

“Y-Zone offers homework help, arts and crafts, exercise through games in the gym and playground, as well as character development; and most importantly fun!” said Clinton Community YMCA Executive Director Rennie Cluver.

He said workers will also be needed for the program. Applications are available on the Y’s website, and questions can be answered by calling the Clinton Y at 217-935-8307.

Zimmerman said he has been in contact with other facilities who offer before and after school care, and stressed the purpose of Y-Zone “is not to harm existing programs, but the purpose is to fill a need for our students and parents, and I don’t think there’s enough capacity in existing programs to fill the need. So that’s why we’re jumping in here.”

It can also serve as a testing ground to see how much local support there would be for a Y branch in Monticello, something the steering that was formed earlier this year is researching.

Cost for the Y-Zone is $6 per day before school, $9 after school and $12 for both. There is a 10 percent discount for additional children from the same family.



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