It wasn't that long ago that parents were pretty worried about who would take care of their kids in Estherville.
First there was the decision by the Estherville Lincoln Central Board of Education to close the Estherville Child Care Center. The reason was simple. The center was losing money. And taxpayers had to make up the difference.
The other was that the ELC Board of Education found itself having to let school out Wednesday afternoons starting next school year to find the time to meet state-mandated teacher collaborative time.
Fortunately, people have stepped forward to help.
Community partners pitching in include the Regional Wellness Center and Estherville Public Library which will be both shouldering a big part of helping kids find meaningful activities Wednesday afternoons.
Another partner became official Monday when the ELC Board of Education approved the Y Kids Program. Bedell Family YMCA is providing the program and providing assistance to families that need it.
The Y has already proven itself by taking on what was formerly Kinship of Emmet County. Under that arrangement, participating kids in both Emmet and Dickinson counties have enormous opportunities through a great mentoring program bolstered by lots of activities. This arrangement has benefitted Kinship kids greatly in both counties, making it a win-win for everyone. And, under the very capable leadership of Kinship coordinator Melony Renze of Estherville, mentor-child matches have more than doubled.
This excellent track record of cooperation shows why the Y Kids Program is a good idea too. There is no possible way that the RWC and public library could have handled the volume of kids out of school Wednesdays. But with the Y Kids Program, that's possible.
We're lucky to have such great community partners right here in Estherville.