The YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee today announced that it will receive $20,000 from the American Express Foundation over the next two years as part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Outside initiative, which aims to engage the next generation of outdoor stewards and inspire millions of young adults to play, learn, serve and work in the great outdoors.
“Many people in Milwaukee’s urban neighborhoods don’t have the chance to experience all that our public lands in and around the city have to offer,” said Julie Tolan, CEO and president, YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee. “This initiative will help us bring together leaders in conservation, education, recreation and service to provide opportunities for children and families to have fun, deepen connections to the city’s natural and historic sites, develop important leadership skills, and engage in activities where they can give back and strengthen our community.”
The Milwaukee Y’s $20,000 gift from The American Express Foundation will be used to expand the Y’s existing partnership with the Milwaukee County Parks. For the second consecutive year, the Milwaukee Y is partnering with the Milwaukee County Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture to offer its day camps and swim lessons at several County Parks sites this summer.
More than 1,100 kids are expected to attend the Milwaukee Y’s seven day camps this summer, where they will experience the Camp FLY (Fun Learning for Youth) curriculum model, which was created by licensed educators to help reduce summer learning loss. The four camps held at Milwaukee County Parks sites will provide more children with opportunities to explore nature, try new activities and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Through its Milwaukee Swims initiative, which began June 20, 2016, the Milwaukee Y offers a reduced-cost package of nine swim lessons for $5 per individual and $10 per family at four Milwaukee County Parks sites. These introductory classes are geared toward non-swimmers to learn basic swim skills and water safety, including how to recognize dangerous situations when in and around water environments.
Milwaukee was selected as one of 50 priority communities to participate in the First Lady’s nationwide Let’s Move! Outside movement. The initiative, being led by the Department of the Interior, is funded through a $5 million commitment by the American Express Foundation, which is being distributed to 270 YMCAs throughout the United States.
Milwaukee joins 26 cities announced as Let’s Move! Outside priority communities in 2015. The remaining cities will be announced throughout 2016. For more information about the Let’s Move! Outside initiative, visit: http://www.doi.gov/youth.