Summertime isn’t just about going to the pool, the beach and having fun in the sun; it’s also about keeping children engaged with skill sets that are often put on the back burner during these months.

However, the McPherson Recreation Commission at the McPherson Family YMCA is aiming to bring those skills to the front burner by offering multiple art and educational classes geared for youth in the area.

“We hear a lot from the community that they want things for their children to do during the summer and we try to offer as many different things as we can. We have a lot of talented people around McPherson that can teach these classes and we put them to use if we can,” explained Tyler Glidden, senior director at the Y.

To choose what types of classes the MRC will offer, the team looks at trends from other commissions from around the state and world.

“We like to see what’s popular with the kids. We also like to align activities we see as positive and productive. We always take recommendations from the community if they would like to see a certain class added — we can certainly try to make that happen,” he noted.

During the summer, the MRC is offering 13 different art and leisure classes for children to stretch their imagination. While the classes may be fun, they are also educational.

“In the schools, art is becoming less and less prominent as far as the curriculum. We want to give those kids that have an interest, and talent, the chance to do it,” Glidden said.

Glidden noted that parents should be aware of which class they sign their child up for, as they are geared toward different age categories for each class.

“These instructors work with these mediums all the time so they know what ages are best suited for that certain class,” he said.

While Glidden wants kids to have fun in these classes, he wants them to be taught valuable lessons.

“It’s important that these talents and skills are taught to children and it’s also important to interact with one another not only to give them something to do, but have them learn new skills and let them interact with other children that have a similar interest,” he said.

Each class does have a cost, but Glidden said scholarships are available at the MRC office.

“These classes are for USD 418 students but others outside the school district may also participate, but there is a $5 fee extra for those students that live outside the district,” he explained. “This is just a great opportunity to get the kids involved and for them to have fun.”

For more information on classes, visit their website at http://ymca-mrc.org or the Y’s Facebook page or call them at 620-241-0363.

Contact Brooke Haas by email at bhaas@mcphersonsentinel.com or follow her on Twitter @ MacSentinel.