Chesterton Tribune



Rebecca Cibak helps ensure brighter futures at YMCA

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When Rebecca Cibak started working at the Duneland Y Early Learning Academy in 2014 as a teaching assistant, she had no idea how important her work would become not only to the one year olds in her care, but also to herself. What she thought would ‘just be a job’ has become her passion. It’s what she really loves to do because she’s helping kids have positive interactions and learning experiences with others in a safe and caring environment.

“My one year olds are learning every day. While there’s always plenty of time for fun and making friends, there are real, age-appropriate learning activities that focus on whole-child development,” said Cibak. “The best part of my day is seeing a child’s reaction when he or she learns something new or when I introduce a new activity. Success at their age is so exciting.”

At the Early Learning Academy children participate weekly in a fitness class taught by a YMCA Personal trainer and participate in sports and skills development. They also participate in Minds-In-Motion activities daily that are designed to stimulate visual and auditory processing, as well as motor skills. The outcome is a better integrated and balanced child who performs better in school and at home. Each child is provided healthy snacks and a healthy lunch daily.

“The Y invested in my career and encouraged me as I took the CDA course to increase my knowledge of early childhood development,” Cibak said. “Some days can be a challenge, but the kids make it worth it! I feel I have truly impacted my classroom when my students run into the room so excited to start their day! It’s an amazing feeling. I am truly grateful for the opportunity the Y has given me. I’m not sure where I would be without my classroom and the amazing kids that have been entrusted to my care.”

Duneland Family YMCA has education and development programs for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years, located at 651 Morgan Ave., Chesterton, IN, Door #8. The program is available Monday-Friday, between the hours of 5:45 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Enrollment is available full-time only for toddlers. Preschool enrollment is available full-time or part-time. The facility includes large classrooms, large open play gym, outdoor play area, and local playground. To register your child or schedule a tour contact Shannon Spratley at or phone 219-921-0183.

At the Y, helping kids and families thrive is at the heart of the mission to serve. The Duneland Y has been serving the Duneland communities for more than 50 years focusing on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility and is a United Way of Porter County Partner Agency. The Y. So much more.




Posted 4/3/2017




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