YMCA springs into diversity


By Cody Willoughby - cwilloughby@aimmediamidwest.com



Cody Willoughby | AIM Media Midwest Garyon Burns, 3, of Piqua constructs a South African bracelet during “Spring Into Cultural Diversity” on Saturday at the Richard E. Hunt Family Youth Center in Piqua.

Cody Willoughby | AIM Media Midwest Garyon Burns, 3, of Piqua constructs a South African bracelet during “Spring Into Cultural Diversity” on Saturday at the Richard E. Hunt Family Youth Center in Piqua.


Cody Willoughby | AIM Media Midwest Gabrielle Rounds, 9, of Troy prepares French treats while dressed in authentic attire during “Spring Into Cultural Diversity” on Saturday at the Richard E. Hunt Family Youth Center in Piqua.


Cody Willoughby | AIM Media Midwest Volunteer Fracie Ellis leads Tiana Burns, 8, of Springfield in Spanish lollipop-making during “Spring Into Cultural Diversity” on Saturday at the Richard E. Hunt Family Youth Center in Piqua.


PIQUA — Children and their families were invited to explore different cultures on Saturday during Miami County YMCA’s special event, “Spring Into Cultural Diversity.”

The event was held at the Miami County YMCA’s Richard E. Hunt Youth Center, and was open to the public.

Abigail Ngoza-Jordan, teen leadership director for the Miami County YMCA, organized the event to coincide with both Piqua and Troy’s spring break as a means to promote cultural diversity to the youth of Miami County.

“As director, I saw the need and the opportunity for us to incorporate diversity into our communities,” Ngoza-Jordan said. “We hope to expose the children and the community to the diversities that we have.

“Our world is a small world, and we are more alike than different. There is a dire need for us to come together and accept each other for who we are, experience our differences, and celebrate our similarities.”

The event included four nation stations, highlighting France, Spain, South Africa, and Egypt. Each station was led by volunteers connected to its nation’s heritage.

Participants were able to engage in such activities as French lavender sachet-making, Spanish lollipop-making, mixing peanut butter from scratch and constructing bracelets from South Africa, and sampling bean dip and basbousa from Egypt.

Entertainment was also provided by Mr. Biggle’s Face Painting and Balloon Twisting throughout the event.

“I think it’s fun for the kids,” said volunteer Fracie Ellis, who led the Spain station. “They all know their countries, and we want to share and enjoy them.”

“It’s wonderful to make all aspects of the world available to children,” said volunteer Amorette Dye, who led the France station. “It’s an education unlike any other. They absorb all of this, and it’s very valuable to their development.”

”Whenever I get the chance to highlight Egypt, I usually do,” said volunteer Sonia Gibson, who was born and raised in Egypt. “I’ve been to schools in Vandalia and Tipp City, because many kids study Egypt in their history class. The kids always have a lot of questions, and I love to let them know there’s much more to Egypt than its ancient history. Egyptian people are very generous and very loving.”

“We hope to hold this event every year, because there’s been a wonderful turnout, and the families here are really enjoying it,” Ngoza-Jordan said.

The YMCA’s next public event will be the Leader’s Club Spaghetti Dinner, which will be open to the public on Saturday, April 13, from 6-8 p.m. at the Richard E. Hunt Family Youth Center. All proceeds will help Leaders Club members attend statewide YMCA leadership rallies.

For more information, visit www.miamicountyymca.net.

Cody Willoughby | AIM Media Midwest Garyon Burns, 3, of Piqua constructs a South African bracelet during “Spring Into Cultural Diversity” on Saturday at the Richard E. Hunt Family Youth Center in Piqua.
https://www.dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/30/2019/03/web1_DiversityDay3.jpgCody Willoughby | AIM Media Midwest Garyon Burns, 3, of Piqua constructs a South African bracelet during “Spring Into Cultural Diversity” on Saturday at the Richard E. Hunt Family Youth Center in Piqua.

Cody Willoughby | AIM Media Midwest Gabrielle Rounds, 9, of Troy prepares French treats while dressed in authentic attire during “Spring Into Cultural Diversity” on Saturday at the Richard E. Hunt Family Youth Center in Piqua.
https://www.dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/30/2019/03/web1_DiversityDay2.jpgCody Willoughby | AIM Media Midwest Gabrielle Rounds, 9, of Troy prepares French treats while dressed in authentic attire during “Spring Into Cultural Diversity” on Saturday at the Richard E. Hunt Family Youth Center in Piqua.

Cody Willoughby | AIM Media Midwest Volunteer Fracie Ellis leads Tiana Burns, 8, of Springfield in Spanish lollipop-making during “Spring Into Cultural Diversity” on Saturday at the Richard E. Hunt Family Youth Center in Piqua.
https://www.dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/30/2019/03/web1_DiversityDay1.jpgCody Willoughby | AIM Media Midwest Volunteer Fracie Ellis leads Tiana Burns, 8, of Springfield in Spanish lollipop-making during “Spring Into Cultural Diversity” on Saturday at the Richard E. Hunt Family Youth Center in Piqua.

By Cody Willoughby

cwilloughby@aimmediamidwest.com