Letter to the Editor:
After school, kids discover their potential at The Y
When the school day ends, children and teens need opportunities to learn and engage in meaningful activities. Their success out of school can have a positive effect on their success in school. Unfortunately, one in four U.S. children and 18 percent of children in Pennsylvania are left unsupervised after 3 p.m., according to Afterschool Alliance, a nonprofit public awareness advocacy organization. To help youth reach their full potential, the YMCA of Greater Erie is offering afterschool programming that supports social-emotional, cognitive and physical development at 13 locations throughout Erie County.
The Y's afterschool program offers activities in a caring and safe environment where all youth can achieve, feel like they belong and build friendships. Youth in Y afterschool programs demonstrate improvement in the skills needed for successful living and in academic proficiency. As a leading nonprofit committed to youth development, and a pioneer in afterschool programs, the Y believes in supporting the holistic processes that all youth experience – from birth to career – to support success in school and life.
When the final school bell rings, continued learning opportunities can have a positive influence on how well youth perform in school. Afterschool programs also fill gaps in schools and in our communities where some recreational opportunities like art, music and physical activity offerings are limited.
Studies show participation in afterschool programs helps boost school attendance and academic performance and reduces gaps in academic achievement among children from disadvantaged households.
In the YMCA of Greater Erie's afterschool programs, youth receive help with homework, a healthy afternoon snack and can also augment classroom learning with games and activities that support math, science, computer, art and music. Financial assistance is available to those in need, to ensure every child and teen has the opportunity to learn and grow at the Y.
Many programs are offered directly in the school or the Y provides free bus transportation.