A new school year is filled with potential—a chance to start new routines and habits, build new friendships and discover new possibilities and interests. It’s an exciting time for many kids, however—at the end of the school day, 1 in 5 children kids do not have someone to care for them after school, according to Afterschool Alliance, a nonprofit public awareness organization.
A child doesn’t stop learning when the school day ends. Those important hours from the time school is dismissed through dinnertime are essential to enrichment and growth. Our Y recently renamed YMCA Before and After School Academy to better indicate the academic support provided to help students achieve their full potential. The newly-designed program features four nine-week sessions, as well as holiday camps and spring break camp.
Before and After School Academy is focused on key outcomes that impact a child’s lifelong success. The outcomes we will measure are: academic support, sense of belonging, building confidence, growth and development, and character development.
The lessons learned in school are enhanced and expanded on through a dedicated curriculum that emphasizes reading, STEM and math. Each day is filled with educational activities that also incorporate active play to develop a lifelong love of health and wellness. YMCA Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Standards are followed to teach children how to make healthy food choices and to enjoy physical activity, contributing to their social and physical development.
YMCA Before and After School Academy includes:
- Academic Support (Reading, STEM, and Math)
- YMCA Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Standards
- Homework Support
- Fitness and health education
- Confidence and character development
- Guest speakers and demonstrations
- Healthy snacks
- Service learning
The Y’s youth-centered programs leverage best practices from YMCAs across the country to help youth and families nurture the potential of children during out-of-school time. Families are seen as partners in their child’s development and are provided opportunities to strengthen the family unit and give the family and the YMCA the opportunity to work, play, learn and thrive together.