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Kids, parents race to build relationships

Participants race self-built cars on computerized track

Posted: February 10, 2009 1:17 a.m.
Updated: February 10, 2009 4:30 a.m.

James Haight watches intently as Brady Ballentine perfectly places the cars on the track at the Santa Clarita YMCA Pinewood Derby on Jan. 25 at Saugus High School.

More than 150 participants ages 5 to 9 and their parents pitted their self-built racing cars against each other on a computerized track at the Santa Clarita YMCA Pinewood Derby.

The cars picked up speed as they sped down the four-lane track past timing devices that determined first-, second- and third-place racers Jan. 25 at Saugus High School.

"While the computer decides who wins the race," said Jane S. Albin, executive director of the Santa Clarita Valley Family YMCA, "each of the kids who are participating are winners."

William Yumbar won the kindergarten division, Ellie Likes won the first-grade division, Natalia Shapiro won the second-grade division, Bryce Fenenbock won the third-grade division, and Cameron Likes won the open-class division.

Natalia Shapiro's car won the prize for the fastest car overall.

The Pinewood Derby demonstrates the effectiveness of Y-Guides, or groups of parent-child pairs, Albin said.

The Y-Guide program encourages parents and their school-aged children to strengthen their relationships through activities that are challenging and enjoyable, such as volunteering in the community, attending weekend campouts and other community-driven events, Albin said.

YMCA's programs strive to develop strong kids, strong families and a strong community. It offers school-age childcare, parent-child programs, swim lessons, activities for seniors, and camping.

The YMCA phone number is (661) 253-3593.


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