Growing Room: Parkersburg YMCA Cuts Ribbon on Kids Zone | News, Sports, Jobs

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Parkersburg YMCA staff and guests experience the new Kids Zone after a ribbon cutting Wednesday. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

PARKERSBURG – The YMCA of Parkersburg this week inaugurated an expanded space for walk-in child care in the community.

For years, the Y has offered free child care to children aged 6 weeks to 12 years in a daycare room for members of the facility or clients using a day pass. But the new Kids Zone can accommodate up to 30 at a time.

“It’s actually three times the space. “ Parkersburg YMCA CEO Jeff Olson said. “We are able to serve a lot more now than in the past. “

Work on the former racquetball court turned into a heavyweight area began in January 2021, said Olson and facilities manager Mark Posten. The 800-square-foot room features toys for different ages, as well as books and art supplies to keep kids entertained while their parents practice, swim, or play a game of basketball.

Olson said the Y is not just a place of practice, but an organization with a mission to promote Christian principles and serve the community. Providing free child care for which members and clients do not have to register removes a barrier for parents who may have difficulty finding time to train.

Michael Browning, left, with US Senator Joe Manchin’s office and Ohio Valley Chamber of Commerce President / CEO Jill Parsons hold a ribbon that will be cut by Parkersburg YMCA Facilities Manager , Mark Posten, at the new Y children’s area room on Wednesday. Also pictured is YMCA CEO Jeff Olson. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

“We tend to use this as an excuse to explain why we don’t become more physically active,” Olson said.

A press release from the Y said the Kids Zone gives parents a chance to maintain a healthy lifestyle, which is a positive example for their children, while also giving them the opportunity to socialize.

The renovated area was celebrated Wednesday with a ribbon cutting by the Mid-Ohio Valley Chamber of Commerce. Michael Browning represented US Senator Joe Manchin, DW.Va., at the event.

“There is nothing more important than making sure children have a safe environment to learn and play” he read a letter from Manchin.

The Kids Zone is available from 8 a.m. to noon and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays.

Walker’s resident Emily Ingold, 6, tries on some of the toys on Wednesday at the YMCA’s new Kids Zone facility in Parkersburg. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

Evan Bevins can be contacted at ebevins@newsandsentinel.com.

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