When the school day ends, children and teens need opportunities to learn and engage in meaningful activities. Their success out of school can impact how well they perform in school. Currently, 15.1 million children nationwide are left unsupervised after 3 p.m. and do not participate in afterschool programs, according to Afterschool Alliance, a nonprofit public awareness advocacy organization. Nearly 25 percent of Florida’s K-12 youth are responsible for taking care of themselves after school. Children left alone afterschool spend an average of 15 hours per week unsupervised with little personal and academic enrichment. Research indicates these children are more likely to commit crimes, become involved with gangs, experiment with drugs and alcohol, and drop out of school. Fortunately, research also shows that participation in quality afterschool programs protects children and communities from such negative outcomes. Indeed, compared to non-participants, students in structured afterschool programs have higher standardized math and reading assessment scores, higher self-esteem and self-efficacy, higher graduation rates, and an increased likelihood to become productive citizens according to Larry Pintacuda, Chief Executive Officer, Florida Afterschool Network.
To help close this gap, the Greater Marco Family YMCA is offering a quality afterschool program.
Combining play with academics, the Y’s afterschool program provides enrichment through arts, music, physical education, sports and nutrition. As a leading nonprofit committed to youth development, and a pioneer in afterschool programs, the Y believes guidance, encouragement and support along the learning continuum – from early learning and preschool to high school graduation and college – provide the best chance for our youth to succeed in school and life.
“When the school bell rings, learning does not have to end,” said Cindy Love, CEO of the Greater Marco Family YMCA. “The opportunity to get additional learning and support and participate in meaningful activities can inspire the motivation and ability to succeed in school.”
Studies show participation in afterschool programs helps boost school attendance and academic performance and reduces gaps in academic achievement.
In the Greater Marco Family YMCA afterschool program “ASPIRE-Afterschool Program for Inspiration, Recreation and Education” youth receive:
- First and foremost, a safe and caring staff and environment
- Homework Assistance, Arts and Humanities, Science, Community Outreach, Fitness Enhancement and Nutritional Tips Components of the Program
- Character Development – YMCA Core Values
- Financial assistance is available to those in need, to ensure every child and teen has the opportunity to learn and grow at the Y.]
For more information about the Greater Marco Family YMCA afterschool program, please contact Customer Service at 394-3144, ext. 200 or visit our website at marcoislandymca.org.