As a leader in youth development, the YMCA of Greater Houston serves over 9000 children ages 5-12 on a daily basis, providing safe, quality and affordable after school care in approximately 200 sites in 24 school districts. Districts continue to choose the YMCA because we partner with schools to provide high quality, after school care for families. Beyond providing after school care, the YMCA is committed to partnering with schools to fulfill its mission of strengthening communities and families.
While YMCA offers a traditional after school program model, YMCA is committed to providing flexible programming that meets the needs of school and families. YMCA works with each campus to design programming that will fit the needs of families.
We believe that every child deserves access to high quality program, regardless of their ability to pay. As such, we partner with schools to provide subsidized rates through grants and donations.
Why do Principals Love the Y?
"We are so happy we have this option for our working parents. It really makes a huge difference for our families. I really appreciate the partnership between Woodview and the YMCA. Ms. Fyfe and her whole staff are very friendly and I appreciate how they care about our children. I hope to keep this partnership for many years to come."
- Principal Survey, 2019
"This year has been absolutely fantastic! I love visiting the program in the evenings to see children interacting with each other in the learning activities."
-Principal Survey, 2019
Community and Parent Engagement
To foster parent involvement, community engagement and the importance of giving back, students participate in the following events annually:
• Lights On! After school: Event celebrating after school programs and their important role in the lives of children, families and communities. Parents, school faculty and community members are invited into all after school sites to learn
• Lemonade Day: Students are empowered to own and operate their own business – a lemonade stand. Inspiring kids to work hard and make a profit, they are also taught to spend some, save some and share some by giving back to their community.
• Angel Tree: Students and their families participate in the McWilliams Y Angel Tree program by “adopting a child” and donating Christmas gifts
Successful community partnerships are a critical component of YMCA programs. Community partners provide resources and support to help make the programs successful as well as aid in outreach to new communities. Our Y utilizes community partnerships as a source from which to draw volunteers, resources and program participants.
A’STEAM (Children's Museum of Houston) - The A’STEAM (Afterschool – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts/design, and Mathematics) program aims to engage students with projects and experiments that bring real-life context to the STEAM disciplines. All lessons are aligned with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards for K-5 students.
READY Scholars Club (BellXcel) - To assist students in mastering their reading skills and develop a love of learning, this reading club will implement the evidenced-based TEKs aligned curriculum that aims to provide multiple opportunities for students to learn both social and academic language and integrate them into reading, writing, speaking, and listening activities. The curriculum includes pre and post online student assessments that allows staff to tailor curriculum based on student’s identified gaps.
FIRST LEGO Club (FIRST Robotics) - Students have the opportunity to research a real-world problem such as food safety, recycling, energy, etc., and are challenged to develop a solution by designing, building, and programming a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS® technology. It all adds up to tons of fun while they learn to apply science, technology, engineering, and math concepts. The curriculum and training with be provided through FIRST Robotics and delivered by YMCA staff.
THEATRE UNDER THE STARS (TUTS) - provides arts enrichment opportunities that allows students to experience musical theatre and explore self-expression and creativity, building their confidence, listening skills, and ability to work as a team.
WRITERS IN SCHOOLS provides creative writing programming were students will craft poems, stories, and reflections while receiving personal feedback from a professional WITS writer who will guide them through the writing process. In addition to producing original pieces of writing, students will work with their WITS instructor to create complementary visual artwork such as paintings and collages. At the end of the program, students will have accumulated a portfolio of their writing and artwork to take home.
Houston Food Bank – Through Kids Café program, Houston Food Bank provides nutritious meals and snacks to help children start out on the right path for success. They serve many of our children in after school programs a hot meal every day. In 2018, they served 60,608 meals during the school year at 23 locations. In addition, they provided a 6 week nutritional education program in our sites this school year. Monthly meal menus are posted on the parent board or at the parent table for review.
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