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Learning about Friendship, Empathy and Appreciating the Diversity of Others at YWCA

By Max and Mary Grefig, Early Childhood Education Grandparents
June 11, 2018
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Max, Mary Grefig and their granchildren

Max and Mary are grandparents of James and Rose, who both attended YWCA Minneapolis Child Care before entering kindergarten. Below they share what they appreciated about the Early Childhood Education program and how they saw it make a difference for James and Rose.

Academically Prepared for Kindergarten

We greatly appreciate that YWCA Minneapolis provided an excellent preschool education for our grandchildren, James and Rose. We were impressed that James and Rose were very well prepared academically for kindergarten in both math and reading, as well as socially by learning how to behave and fit into the daily routine of school. They were very well prepared for kindergarten because of the solid educational background and social skills they received at YWCA.

Experiencing Similar and Diverse Backgrounds

The diversity they were able to experience among the other children, faculty and staff was also very important. They learned how to play with and respect others of both diverse and similar backgrounds. We feel that they were able to learn and experience all of this because they felt safe, comfortable and relaxed, and knew that their needs would be met by caring adults. This helped open their minds to learning.

Plenty of Physical Activity and Playing

Although our grandchildren say that they liked “all the stuff,” in particular they both mentioned the gym where they got a lot of physical activity and played with their friends. They also liked art, learning to swim, the field trips and playing on the roof-top playground. Although they liked all the teachers, Miss Me was their favorite.

Family Engagement Activities

We live in Milwaukee, but were still able to participate in a few of the family activities. Max chaperoned a field trip to the Children’s Museum with James and attended a family breakfast with Rose. We were also at their YWCA Children’s Center graduations.

Math, Reading and Social Skills

We feel that James and Rose got excellent backgrounds in math and reading. Rose has just taken off in both math and reading, while James knew how to read when he started kindergarten (only one other child was able to do so) and was math ready – all of which we attribute to what they were taught at YWCA. Socially, they learned about friendship, sharing, kindness, empathy and to appreciate the diversity of others.

Gym and Swimming Pool Sets YWCA Apart

The gym and swimming pool sets YWCA apart from virtually all other child care centers – in addition to starting to develop academic and social skills, the children are also able to develop their physical abilities and begin to appreciate the importance of exercise in their lives.

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