YMCA After School Program in Pana Highlights Outreach Plan

September 11, 2017

YMCA After School Program in Pana Highlights Outreach Plan

Joani Jones, George Heintz, Sarah VanHuss, Chris Weittenhiller, Ashley Basso, Craig Deere


The Christian County YMCA is pleased to announce the launch of an After School child care program for Kindergarten to Fifth grade students in Pana. The program will be offered at Washington Elementary from dismissal of school until 6:00 p.m. daily, with district bus transportation provided for Lincoln Elementary and Sacred Heart students. The program will provide a postive environment with adult supervision offering sports, free play and more. This new program will be under the leadership and direction of After School Site Coordinator, Joan Saatkamp. “I am looking forward to beginning this program in Pana. I feel like we have needed this and the families and children will benefit; I’m so exicted”, said Saatkamp. After School Counselors will assist in carrying out daily activities and supervising the children; thus far Ericka Crawford and Breanna Schoonover have been hired to fill this roll and applications are still being accepted.

Recognizing the positive impact this will have on youth and families in the community, Peoples Bank & Trust has agreed to be a major sponsor for this program. In an effort to keep program fees as low as possible and encourage participation, Peopes Bank & Trust will be making a generous donation of $5,600 to the YMCA for the 2016-2017 school year. “I’ve discussed the program with some of our key staff here in Pana and we believe this is a very important program to improve the Pana community”, said Peoples Bank & Trust Chief Financial Officer, Craig Deere. Additionally, scholarships are available to those who qualify through the YMCA’s Financial Assistance program that supports the organizations practice of not denying services to anyone based on an ability to pay.

Just over a year ago, with input from community leaders thoughout Christian County, the YMCA developed a long-range strategic plan. One of the primary initiatives of this plan called for assessing the needs in commmunites outside of Taylorville and developing a plan to meet them. WIth Pana being the next largest community in the County, YMCA leadership decided to focus its efforts on learning how the Y could best serve those in this community. Through this process, the YMCA’s membership and Marketing Committee identified that the membership structure in place didn’t fit well with the needs of those in Pana and the time to make the round trip created a significant obstacle to becoming involved. This led the committee to develop an additional membership option for Pana residents which is currently being offered without a joiner fee. This option offers significantly reduced rates, access to the YMCA facility on Fridays – Sundays with full member privileges, member pricing on all programs and use of other YMCA’s nationwide. “The YMCA and our Board of DIrectors are thrilled to be in a position to better serve the residents of Pana”, said YMCA Executive Director, Chris Weittenhiller. “It has been a pleaseure getting to know so many great people through this process and I’m very appreciative of the support and assistance provided by Dr. David Lett and the staff of the Pana School District and Craig Deere of Peoples Bank & Trust who have all been instrumental in getting us to this point:, said Weittenhiler. The YMCA will also be participating in the Back to School Bash on August 20th and hope you’ll stop by and take a turn in our bounce house as well as the Meet the Teacher Night on August 22nd. Please call 287-7271 with any questions regarding the Pana After School program or the new membership option available to Pana residents.