Community Connection: It's All About the Kids

Even though school is not in session, we work with many children through tours and outreach programs during the summer months.  We partner with YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas and Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas in a weeklong program that includes two interactive Museum tours along with three art-making visits to the branches.  Town North YMCA and Oak Cliff Boys & Girls Club have participated in this partnerhip for several years, and their staff (Katherine from Town North YMCA and Cherri from Oak Cliff Boys & Girls Club) participated in planning sessions for this summer’s program.


Katherine Ansley, Child Care Director of Town North YMCA

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Katherine:  The best thing about it is working with the kids.  When everything on the administrative side is crazy, I know I can go and play a game of Battleship and relax for a bit.  Spending time with the kids reminds me that everything is not as bad as I think it is.  It helps you forget about yourself for a second, which is really great.

Cherri:  The kids. I get paid to be around kids every day.

You have been a strong supporter of the DMA partnership program.  What motivates you to make sure your students have this experience?

Katherine:  I think it’s valuable. I always remember a field trip to a museum in elementary school.  I saw a piece of art and I just wanted to sit there and look at it.  I was fortunate to have a teacher who let me do that, and I want to make sure other kids can have that moment.

Cherri:  I want the kids to be exposed to everything.  I don’t want them to be limited. We live in an urban area, and I want to expose them to as much as possible.  Art is for everyone, and that is my belief.  Plus, I love art.


Cherri Rowe, Program Coordinator at Oak Cliff Boys & Girls Club

The YMCAs and Boys & Girls Clubs are very busy places during the summer.  How do you unwind after a full day or week of work?

Katherine:  When it’s been a real stressful day, my best friend usually takes me for sushi.  That is the best way for me to chill out.  Sushi is fun because you can try new things.

Cherri:  I love to read and I love to bowl – I’m crazy about bowling.  I go to the movies.  I sleep.  I’ll go outside and sit on my porch and write. Sometimes I have to get out of the house and relax, and sometimes I want to stay in. I love to hang out with my sisters or my mom.

One of our summer tours is called Summer Vacation, and we ask the students where they would most like to travel during the summer.  If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Katherine:  I would love to go to Rome, because I want to see the ruins and architecture there.  It’s fascinating to see how they did all that stuff without modern technology.

 Cherri:  Italy. I would take two months off work and tour the entire country.  I would stay two or three days in each city.  Italy seems so beautiful and has so much history.

Melissa Nelson
Manager of Teaching in the Community


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