Shawn Bjerke, West Fargo, Published December 06 2013
Letter: YMCA board too fixated on incomeI was disappointed to learn that the downtown YMCA will no longer offer youth martial arts courses as of Jan. 1. In place since the 1980s, some will argue that there are now many martial arts schools around town, ignorantly failing to realize that not all martial arts are the same.
The dojo is different and absolutely great for building self-confidence, self-control, safety and life skills in children. My daughters and their friends are evidence of that.
Some at the YMCA will argue this change needs to be done for “economic reasons” despite the fact that the space used (Marcy’s Kitchen) will be vacant at the times the classes were held and no income will be generated.
Also, the YMCA states that for its courses and facilities, they provide financial assistance so that everyone is our community has the ability to participate in the Y programs, which definitely does not generate the needed income per square foot the YMCA board of directors is fixated upon.
I ask the YMCA board of directors to actually take the time to watch the children participate in the martial arts courses and make an effort to interview those children. The board is so far removed from the actual activity as to be naive. The board needs to remember that not all children who are members of the Y wish to play basketball, swim or participate in gymnastics.