Play Out Loud
THE YMCA, PLAY OUT LOUD and THE LIGHT FOUNDATION MAKE A GREAT TEAM!!
The Light Foundation has always been seeking opportunities to reach out into the community and make a difference. A few years ago, we teamed up with the YMCA of Darke County, Ohio and the Play Out Loud Program to help kids get active. The Light Foundation donated all the equipment to the YMCA and they have implemented the program at their facility. Below is a report on how they have used the program to help different groups of people. This is making a huge impact!!!
News from Allan King, Program Director at the Darke County YMCA:
Play Out Loud with Gateway Youth Programs in Greenville.
We started using the Play Out Loud Program with Gateway Youth Programs. We did a free class with their at risk youth. I taught this 8-week class and personally saw a lot of growth amongst the group. We had a young man who was larger in size and ‘not into exercise’ the first week, become the most excited about being there from week to week. He started to lose weight, gain confidence and even lead the group in many activities. When we would try something new he would say, “yes I love doing new things” where as when we started his main gripe was he didn’t like to try new stuff. We had several other successes with that group, but the other ‘big’ success was an abused young lady that came to us with no confidence and left with not only confidence but a whole group of new friends. It was really neat to see that group learn to work together and enjoy each other success. We had so much success with this group we have had a second group from Gateway do another session.
Play Out Loud with the boys at Michael's Resource and Treatment Center in Greenville.
Our next group we had the Play Out Loud program with was the boys at Michael's Resource and Treatment Center. This again was a free 8-week session. These young men are at the Michael’s home as a last stop before jail time. Needless to say this group had the most interesting dynamics of any group that we have worked with. The boys were made to come to this training, they had no choice and it showed the first week. As we started the program we had a young man that did not want to do the ropes at all. As I encouraged him he became enraged and started throwing the ropes and ran out of the gym and punched a hole in our door. He proceeded to destroy a chair and several other items before his counselor could get him under control. I felt like we lost the group from that moment on the rest of the class. The next session I came back honestly dreading working with this group. But one of the things I believe very strongly in is that kids crave discipline and this group wanted that more than any group I had ever worked with in my life. I also believe there are only 2 things you can control in any situation, your own effort and your own attitude. So I changed my attitude and told myself this group was going to be the best I had worked with. I pushed these boys harder than most groups I work with, we made everything a competition, but not who could do the most, but who was most helpful, most enthusiastic and followed directions the best. They really responded to the positive competition and by the end of the 8 weeks we had them out flipping tractor tires in our back yard and working together. This group even came back and helped us during shut down and they all wanted to update me on their progress and do another class.
Play Out Loud class at Greenville in Winter I (families participated together)
We have had numerous classes where families have worked out side by side doing the ropes, kettlebells and etc. including in our Original Strength Class where we had kids with parents from ages 8 and up working out with their parents.
Play Out Loud at Versailles schools
Versailles schools football coach left and when he did he left his weight lifting class behind. It has young men and women from grade 6 & up and Tim Blakeley who went with me for the training has been borrowing a few of the ropes and using the program with those kids.
(Versailles schools has also purchased some of their own equipment and we use it when our classes at the Versailles Y get too large.
Play Out Loud at Versailles Y (coming soon to Greenville YMCA)
With my change in position I worked in the Versailles branch most days. This has given me the opportunity to start a POL class at that branch. Kids were ‘worried’ about the workout, so we did some trial classes to get things started. Our group is steadily growing and I expect next session to be a large group.
We also have adult classes at both Y’s. This has become a very popular class, as it challenges adults in a group setting and it has become a favorite class because of the commodore the class promotes amongst the group. Kids can be a part of the class as well and we have several families that take part in this class.
Other Program Uses
We took the ropes out to the American Red Cross festival in the park over the summer.
We took the ropes out to Mississinawa Valley and did a class with their juniors and seniors back in the fall.
We have used the equipment at several health fairs, including the Darke Co. Health Fair for all 5th graders. There are numerous other opportunities we take the equipment with us to for a day or weekend.
Things started off slow for us getting groups to come try it out, but as we have seen success more groups want to work with us. At this time our focus has turned to making it into a ‘class’ each session for grades 5-8 & 9-12. We also are always looking for other ways and other groups that would be willing to work us.