- In Minnesota, over 200,000 young people in kindergarten through 12th grade have no safe place to go after the school bell rings.
- Nearly 40 percent of kids from low income backgrounds don’t attend after school or summer learning programs.
- Studies show an achievement gap between students from low-income families and their peers. This gap culminates in low high school graduation and college attainment rates, limited job prospects and negative economic impact for the community.
Students achieve more, academically and beyond, when they have a safe place to go before and after school. Y team members walk the children to and from school, staying with them during the day and providing additional support once the final bell rings. In addition to homework help, students have time to discover enrichment activities like art or music, play with their neighbors and enjoy a healthy snack.
“The Y is committed to providing opportunities for all young people in our community, whether in our facility or in their schools and homes,” said Kate Whitby, community program director at the Y. “Our team of youth development experts provides support to help young people explore and learn through activities that promote academic success, social interaction and character development.”
Whitby added that the YMCA connects young people not only to academic resources and enrichment opportunities, but to caring adults who serve as role models, including Y team members and community volunteers. These mentors cultivate a safe environment, where kids can grow academically in reading or math, develop healthy habits, engage with others through play, gain self-confidence and simply be themselves.
The Y’s apartment programs are an integral part of the communities they serve. The program, which continues through the summer months, supports working families and nurtures the potential of every child. The impact of these programs can be seen every day. Children who learn, grow and thrive with the Y experience improved school attendance records, decreased bullying instances and increased academic motivation.
Discover how the Y gave Ionna opportunities to engage and give back to her community – Ionna’s Story.
Learn how the Y helped Doreon to gain confidence in his academic abilities – Doreon’s Story.
The Y provides similar outreach to suburban communities across the Twin Cities, from Minnetonka to Maplewood. While each program is unique, the unifying goal is to address the needs of low-income families in the Twin Cities area. Offerings include before and after school programs, all-day or part-day summer programs, teen outreach centers as well as programming that includes adults and seniors. Having convenient access to education opportunities, enrichment activities, social engagement, physical activity and nutrition initiatives has helped hundreds of community members in the Twin Cities thrive at each stage of life.
Because the Y is a leading nonprofit committed to helping all young people thrive, financial assistance is available to those in need to ensure all have the opportunity to participate in Y programs. Learn more about the Y’s education and enrichment opportunities for young people.